MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade has adapted its after school program to an all-day option for students and is now a schoolhouse for kids.

While in the program, students participate in virtual learning, just like the rest of the county, but instead of being at home, they are in an environment that is more like a classroom and can be with other students.

“The idea of this program came out of the fact that so many parents were saying ‘I don’t know what to do when school starts’,” explained Alex Rodriguez-Roig, President of the club. “They don’t have the technology or know how, they don’t dominate the English language, some simply have to go back to work.”

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Melissa Fiallo, who works in a restaurant, is one of those parents.

“We don’t have any options right now,” said Fiallo. “This taking them to work – that’s not going to happen, so I’m super excited that the Boys & Girls Club will be able to watch my kids while I’m at work.”

Staff members are on hand to help kids with everything from logging in to the actual lessons and helping the kids follow along and keep track of their assignments.

“As kids, it’s very easy for them to doze off or wander,” said Rodriguez-Roig. “We’ll make sure we keep them focused, keep them doing what they’re supposed to be doing in a safe, good environment.”

It’s not an ideal environment for parents like Fiallo, who prioritizes that 1-on-1 student-teacher contact, but she’s grateful it’s even an option.

Lunch is provided to about 200 kids enrolled in the program so far.

The program runs a full 10 hours daily from 8-6. When ‘virtual school’ is out, the kids  go straight to their after-school programs at the club.

Frances Wang

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