Central Coast YMCAs offer distance learning program for families

September 1, 2020
by Caitlin Conrad

Central Coast YMCAs are stepping up to provide all daycare and e-learning assistance this school year.

The Excel Beyond the Bell program offers care at 46 sites across the tri-county during the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is a much longer day than a normal school day and when students are not getting help with online learning and homework they have the opportunity to participate in physical education, STEM activities and arts and crafts.

"Families have to work and it is very very difficult, especially when they have multiple children," said Robin Schnekenburger the executive director of youth development at the Central Coast YMCA.

Families across the country are looking for alternatives this school year and many are turning to daycare facilities to provide the care and education their children would normally be getting through the public education system.

Schnekenburger said Central Coast YMCA knew it had to step up for families this year. But she recognizes the program would not be possible without frontline workers.

"I think that is why we get so much support from our schools, and our districts, and our teachers, and our families, they know how amazing this program is, how we stepped up and we are here for the families," said Schnekenburger.

To protect those frontline workers the Beyond the Bell Program is following all Center for Disease Control Guidelines. Class sizes are limited to 12 and in many cases are much smaller, temperatures checks are done three times a day, and social distancing and masks are required.

The program also offers children and opportunity to socialize and make new friends.

"A lot of our students, they come from different schools and different districts, so it is nice to see them join together and support each other," said Schnekenburger.

The program is being offered at Central Coast YMCA locations as well as at school sites. The program has the support of local school districts.

The program costs $175 a week and tuition assistance is available to families. You can find more information on the program at www.centralcoastymca.org.