“It’s incredible. You can hear a pin drop,” describes Dalinda Vivero. “Our kids are really focused on their online learning, and we are seeing kids serving as examples to others, so the time they spend learning at their computers has become an established part of our daily activities.”
The VK Team has put together a full-day schedule that meets many, diverse needs; from good nutrition, to free-play time, arts and crafts, online learning and support, and extra attention to individual kids that have special learning, language and technology needs. They have adapted VK’s traditional before and after school enrichment programs to a full-day schedule that positively impacts social-emotional development, provides dedicated learning time and tracks how kids are doing with remote learning, as well as their overall well-being.
Working closely with Chautauqua Elementary and the Vashon Island School District, the VK Team has really dialed-in its remote learning platform to provide an equitable foundation for an enrollment that represents Vashon’s own diversity of income levels and race. VISD has provided computers, and VISD teachers are in close communication with the VK Team to ensure families are informed and all students are getting the help they need to be successful.
Online learning time is twice each day, and before and after these study times VK provides its traditionally strong enrichment activities, all in a COVID compliant environment. “We are very proud of our kids for fully adopting COVID safety measures. At the start we spent a lot of time policing COVID safety precautions, but the kids have come to adopt and own those protective measures themselves,” Dalinda points out.
40% of Vashon Kids are currently receiving some level of scholarship. In an incredible gesture of support, several current VK Families have together donated over $4000 to provide scholarships for other Vashon Kids families. Scholarships typically go to working families whose wage earners must be out of the house to do their job, which makes childcare and remote learning a severe challenge.
“Vashon Kids has always relied on community support to provide scholarships and with COVID we are seeing greater need for scholarships as well as needing extra financial support to cover the additional cost of operating a full-day schedule,” explains Dalinda. “These days we are also relying on volunteers that are being generous with their time and effort to help kids that need extra, individual attention. This help ranges from dedicated 1:1 reading time, to special help with language and technology barriers.”
“The VK Team wants to send out a warm thank you to our generous donors and volunteers that are helping working families get through these difficult times,” concludes Dalinda.
Vashon Kids has very specific needs for volunteers to provide 1:1 and group support for online learning. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Dalinda, DVivero@vyfs.org