By MADDY VITALE
With the start of a new school year, with hybrid and remote learning as choices for families, the Ocean City school district has joined with the Ocean City Tabernacle’s Son Club to offer a program that would help meet the new and changing needs of students.
The Son Club is offered for free during the school year from Monday through Friday for students grades K-8 and begins Monday, Sept. 21. To learn more about this program email email@example.com.
Volunteers and staff provide homework help, mentoring, music and life skills, snacks and games.
In addition, there is a fee-based remote learning Son Club that will be offered. Participants will enjoy indoor and outdoor games in grades K-6. They will be in consistent groups of 10. To register for the remote learning program, visit octabernacle.org/programs/remotelearning.
All students attending Ocean City’s primary and intermediate schools are eligible for the Tabernacle’s programs.
Modifications have been made to both programs to adhere to all safety and health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pastor Jay Reimer, the CEO of the Tabernacle, explained that Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor met with the Son Club leadership.
“Dr. Taylor phoned me and asked if the Son Club program could be modified to assist with the family needs for remote-learning days and for after-school help,” Reimer said Wednesday. “Dr. Taylor has impressed me so much with her strong desire to meet the needs of each Ocean City student and each school family.”
Dr. Taylor said of the partnership between the district and the Son Club, “We are so thankful for community programs, City of Ocean City Youth Camps, businesses converting their spaces into Pod Learning Centers, and the Son Club at the Ocean City Tabernacle, who are providing much needed child-care programs and activities for the children of Ocean City.”
She continued, “When my four children were younger, childcare was a major concern for my husband and I as we had different working schedules than my children’s school schedules. So, I understand the immense stress families are facing today with finding quality childcare for either a combined hybrid with remote learning or a full remote learning program.”
Dr. Taylor also highlighted the importance and the impact of community support.
“Therefore, giving students these additional outlets make a difference for their continuity of education and for community involvement. We are appreciative and commend the city, our businesses such as Bowfish, and the Tabernacle for their invaluable support for students, parents and Ocean City families,” she said.
In the next few days, students in the primary and intermediate schools will be sent home with information about the Son Club.
Reimer said the idea to join together to help families during the pandemic came a month ago.
He added that the Ocean City Tabernacle was happy to offer assistance to the school district’s families.
“We were honored to receive her request for help for this challenging school year,” Reimer noted of Dr. Taylor. “In the O.C. School District plan for this year, the Son Club was named with the City of Ocean City as partner organizations to help meet childcare needs.”
Families in the district had two choices for the new school year. There is the hybrid learning model, in which students attend school two days a week and do their studies remotely for three days, or they could do the Virtual Academy all from home.
This year, above all other years, it is important to come together as a community and help parents and students navigate the new learning model with shortened school days and days when they are learning remotely, officials said.
Reimer emphasized that there is still so much uncertainty, and aftercare is so vital to parents so that they may keep their jobs to support their families. The Son Club aftercare program will be there to offer some help and also enjoyment for the children.
The Son Club program is made possible, in part, through the donations of individuals, businesses and organizations.
The Ocean City Tabernacle is located at 550 Wesley Ave. For more information call 609-399-1915 or visit www.octabernacle.org.