As the week comes to a close, so does YCC’s fourth full week of online learning. Thanks to a generous donation from our community partner Dollar General, YCC had a supply of Google Chromebooks to distribute to our members who needed computers. YCC has worked with members and their family to get internet in their homes, taking advantage of free internet services for low income families provided by a Comcast.
Each day begins with a morning “circle” conducted through a Zoom conference call, this is a time for members and staff to share their experiences, what they are going through, how they are coping, jokes, and words of inspiration. Members then break out into Zoom classroom sessions with either our Instructional Services Manager Susan Green or Life Skills training with Member Services Manager Fred Williams and our Social Worker Kristin Hunt. Our YouthBuild members have the option of weekly 1-on-1 therapy sessions with Kristin. All of their course material is located on Moodle Learning Management Software. From there, they work on assignments that are explained during the Zoom classroom sessions. The day ends with a closing circle in the afternoon, where members and staff speak together about the struggles and successes they had during the day.
Member Elantae sharing a rap he wrote at Closing Circle
YCC YouthBuild Online Moodle Dashboard
Member Services Manager – Fred Williams
Fred Williams on the Transition
Fred Williams, YCC’s Member Services Manager, spoke about the challenges our YouthBuild members have been facing. “Many of their parents have lost their jobs due to this crisis, some are supporting their families on their own, many experience lack of privacy, and reliable internet has been a barrier for them as well. We as YCC staff must be be resilient in the face of this pandemic. We need to let each of our members know that we are here for them to help them address these issues in any way we can in this extremely difficult time.”
He also spoke to challenges in member engagement. Having never hosted or participated in online learning before, he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to reach the members in the same way he had in the past in his in-person classes. And at first, there was some truth to this. The first class that he held, he described impersonal and dry. However, after learning the technology and making the online learning environment more interactive by incorporating videos and live presentations, Fred stated that this weeks class has been one of the best Life Skills sessions he’s had. He described eager member participation and lively discussions. “Online programming continues to improve week by week as we continue to find new ways to keep members engaged”.
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