In mid-March, California shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19. Jamboree was forced to close the community centers at our properties and cancel our after-school programs. While school classes continued online, Resident Services Coordinators at our properties discovered something about the kids at their properties. They didn’t just miss the after-school program; they missed their friends. That’s when Victoria, one of our Resident Services Coordinators, launched a virtual after-school program.
Each summer when school is out, student summer learning continues with creative projects and exploration. This year, our onsite Resident Service Coordinators are planning 10 weeks of activities to help kids stay active and engaged during Do-It-Yourself (Together) Summer.
This kind of creativity and flexibility are both key parts of Jamboree’s unique REACH approach to customized Resident Services for kids, families, seniors, and those living with special needs. REACH is an acrostic for five simple values that frame services for all our residents.
The summer learning program happens every day via Zoom. Following daily fun themes (Make-it Monday, Take a Virtual Trip Tuesday, Web-gaming Wednesday, Thinking Thursday, and Connecting with Friends Friday), days are crafted with tasks the students can share, comparing results and problem-solving together. And, each student receives a 10-week activity kit chock full of do-it-yourself ideas, exercises, and learning.
Along with materials and supplies, each activity kit includes a DO IT chart for every child to fill in each day as he or she completes tasks and assignments – reading, writing, physical activity, and even housework. The tasks range from STEAM projects (gardening, baking, and science experiments with household items), to reading at home and out loud online; from virtual activities like Zoom Pictionary and online scavenger hunts, to virtual field trips to any museum or national park in the world.
Jamboree properties in Garden Grove and Fullerton have extended their virtual after-school program to students in their surrounding neighborhoods, connecting students from local schools so that more kids could meet new friends and benefit from the daily learning activities. Daily Zoom gatherings allow our onsite Resident Services Coordinators to check in with students to assist with problem-solving, self-awareness, and coping strategies. As kids complete their daily logs, they earn points that can be redeemed for prizes when the program is completed.
Help kids stay connected and learning by making a donation so students at every Jamboree property receive an activity kit. Stella Moon, our Resident Services Coordinator at Granite Court, said, "I’m excited just planning out supplies and goodies to package together and send off to the students here at my property. I understand it can be hard for kids to stay motivated during these tough times, especially when you can't be surrounded by your friends in the community. The activity kits let the students know that Jamboree is here for them and we deeply care for their well-being.”