With the temperatures rising, many young people (and more than a few parents) are clamoring for summer programming this year. Many programs across the state have responded to step up and run in-person programming this summer. Vermont Afterschool has helped to guide program leaders through the requirements and guidelines that come with running programming during the time of COVID-19. During the past weeks, we have hosted calls with Dr. Breena Holmes, Director of Maternal and Child Health in the Vermont Department of Health. She has answered questions and helped explain the health and safety guidance that the Department of Health has put out for childcare and summer programs.
There are many ways in which summer will look different this year, and one of the largest is the need for youth and staff to wash hands throughout the day. With the help of the Vermont Department For Children and Families, Child Development Division, Vermont Afterschool was able to acquire thousands of bars of soap to distribute to programs free-of-charge. We set up a form that programs would fill out to request soap and received requests from all across the state.
This then led to the logistical challenge of distributing that soap to the over thirty programs that needed it. But thanks to some generous partners and a few more miles than normal on a car or two, we were able to make a plan to get the soap to five different distribution sites. We were able to fulfill the requested amount for nearly every program.
Special thanks to those who stepped up to help with the distribution:
- Beth Chambers- Encore Program Coordinator, North Country Supervisory Union
- Scott Hausler- Director of Parks & Recreation, Hartford, VT
- Jessica Brodie- Vermont Recreation and Parks Association
- Kiley C. Boyd- Director of After School & Summer Programs, Windham Central Supervisory Union
- Nicole Miller- Vermont Afterschool
- Cassie Wilner- Vermont Afterschool
Thank you as well to the program leaders and staff who were willing to drive to meet in various parking lots and buildings to pick up the soap. Because of you, summer programs will be that much safer for the youth you serve. Be safe and wash your hands!