November – December 2020 Newsletter

Hoops & Homework Monthly Newsletter November & December 2021

Written by Kevin Lopez

December 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

As we move into 2021, we’d like to reflect on the successes and challenges in the past few months, and to outline our plan moving forward. In November, we were able to donate a lot of food to the community thanks to Feed a Family. A big thanks goes to Jim Rushe for enabling the collaboration and delivering the food to the site, and to Pusan and Interfaith staff for coordinating collections and providing deliveries. We’d also like to thank Kristine Austin, who provided four computers for families. We’d like to thank Don Taggart and Pam Kaufman for helping provide a Thanksgiving meal for Hoops and Homework. To comply with COVID policies, we did not have a joint event between the centers, and instead opted to alternate use of the Pusan site for both groups. We had great difficulty securing Interfaith attendance, and we were unable to host the event for them. We hope for the speedy renovation of the new Interfaith site area to better facilitate community engagement. Following Thanksgiving week, the Pusan site unfortunately had positive COVID case occurrence. We have taken this very seriously and have closed the site for a two-week quarantine period to re-evaluate the physical site and COVID procedures, especially with desired enrollment. After remodeling we adjusted the site with stations for fourteen kids, with new equipment on the way to safely include four more for the eighteen we’re rated for.

We’ve been adjusting our routine to provide better consistency. The synchronization of schools’ lunch hours last November was especially helpful in establishing a dedicated lunch and recess time for all kids. We’ve been coordinating and implementing more afterschool activities, including STEM enrichment, crafts, and games. Currently, with the new upcoming schedule, we plan to accommodate remote learning from 8:00 to 3:30, including an hour break for lunch and recess. Breakfast will be offered in the morning as kids come in, and a healthy snack will be offered after children are out of school at 3:30. We’ve been offering coloring pages, word searches, and picture puzzles for kids on break. We’ll run more involved activities at four, and hold a reading hour at five where parents will begin trickling in for pick-up. (We’ve found that the kids especially enjoy activities involving model magic!)

We’d like to thank the BoD, Bedrock Comics, and Burlington Coat Factory for making our holiday party magical. On a personal note, it was wonderful to see the kids as excited as they were. They were thrilled with their gifts, treats, (Big thanks to Ila for making cake pops!) music, and games. Since the holiday party, the kids have been enjoying their break, coming to Hoops for meals, outdoor play, activities, and reading. Since the holiday party, they’ve especially been enjoying bingo, as well as a host of winter-themed activities. In the meantime, we’ve been working hard on enrollment— we’ve all been out distributing flyers. We’ve re-examined and improved the enrollment process. (thanks Dahiana!) We’re ready and looking forward to including more children in 2021, and we continue to work towards supporting the community through this difficult period. We hope that you stay safe and have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and Day.

Best wishes,

The Hoops and Homework Team

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