FAST program will help hundreds of Wake County students learn remotely in a supportive environment

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Campers at the Boys and Girls Club on Raleigh Boulevard enjoyed what is left of their summer break on Thursday morning as kids could be seen using the computer, watching movies, and playing with hula hoops in the gym.

In less than two weeks these campers will head back to school and for the first part of the semester, they’ll be attending remotely.

“We know there’s going to be a considerable amount of Wake County Public School students that mom, dad or whoever they live with are going to need some place to go and somebody to support the remote learning,” said Hugh McLean, the vice president of operations and program for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County.

McLean said that’s why the FAST Initiative was established – Families And Schools Together. It’s a partnership between Wake County Public Schools the YMCA, WakeEd Partnership, Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, Marbles Kids Museum, and The Boys and Girls Clubs serving Wake County.

McLean said the goal is have students participate in the program all day similar to school and provide support.

“Do they have somebody that can help answer a question or help with a tech issue?” McLean asked.

He said it’s a process to handle the tech demands and issues related to virtual learning. At the seven Boys and Girls Clubs across Wake County they’re already making changes.

“We’re in the process of upgrading our internet speed and we’re adding WiFi access points. Just the sheer layout of how you place the kids around the clubs while you’re serving them in a remote learning environment so we’re in the process of that now,” explained McLean.

The program will be staffed all day, five days a week. Students who don’t have computers will have access to one at the Boys and Girls Clubs. Lunch will be served, and there will be opportunities for kids to just be kids.

“It’s the right thing to do. Young people in the community need these services, families need the services,” said McLean.

These services will come at a cost. Financial assistance or reduced rate programs are available for families who may need it. They’re expecting to take in about 600 kids.

Parents who wish to learn more about FAST and find a learning center for your child can click here for more information.

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