Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri staff gets creative to stay connected with kids

Staff members post original videos on YouTube, part of Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri @ Home

JOPLIN, Mo. – Staff at the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri have been coming up with virtual educational videos on YouTube daily to stay connected. It’s part their “@ home” program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brooke Parker is a staff member, but she started as a kid with the club. Parker is the Learning Center Coordinator. She says consistency is key when helping young people.

“We get to help almost mold them into who they’re going to be. And so keeping that connection during such a questionable time right now is a huge deal for all of us,” adds Parker.

Coming up with ideas is bringing the staff closer amid the pandemic. “We’re all together and we’re all like figuring this thing out and we’re all trying to think of ways to be here for the kids,” says Parker.

As they try to find new innovated ways to stay a part of kids lives, that face-to-face interaction is still missed. One challenge the club faces is to turn out content that appeals from kindergarten to 8th grade, but executive director Rhonda Gorham is thrilled with how her staff keeps the kids excited to learn.

“Everybody’s world has been rocked upside down, so if we can do just a little bit for a couple hours a day to keep the kids engaged we feel like we’ve done something on our part to help our community,” adds Gorham.

The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri is planning to reopen, in a limited capacity, on June 1 with their summer program.