With the school year ending, we reflect on the fact that children across the nation finished a challenging and unprecedented school year. Attending school remotely due to the pandemic exacerbated many challenges that children at APAH properties already faced, such as lack of access to internet and technology like laptops, issues that even before COVID-19 created a socioeconomic education gap for students. To combat learning loss, APAH has innovated to keep children engaged and connected both virtually and in-person over this past year.
This past spring and winter, APAH provided virtual programming with the goal of providing youth with a way to have fun and learn in the safety of their homes.
This month, as COVID vaccination rates increase and infections decrease, APAH children have been able to participate in some outdoor in-person programs! This has given children the opportunity to interact and play with peers their own age, which is crucial for cognitive development. Encore Stage and Studio is an event for children ages 3-9 years old to dance with their peers and learn choreographed dances taught by instructors. This program was held at both APAH’s Gilliam Place and Columbia Hills apartments.
In June APAH also held an outdoor R.E.A.D event at the Springs which featured a mobile book bus that distributed books to children, balloon animals and a small animal “meet and greet.” Parents and their children enjoyed outdoor activities and time with their peers.
As we look to the future, APAH is excited about the prospect of having more in-person programming this summer and fall, thanks to increased vaccination and low infection rates. This engagement among young APAH residents will provide much needed fun and relaxation this summer and prepare youth to succeed in the upcoming school year.