Let’s face it, school has been challenging throughout 2020 for students, teachers, and parents. As we enter a new year, many are faced with the same trials and tribulations. Still, with the help and support of the Rodarte Community Center staff, several Greeley students are succeeding in their academic endeavors.

Since August, the Rodarte Community Center has collaborated with Billie Martinez Elementary to provide both after-school programming (when school is in session) and virtual learning onsite (when the school was moved to remote learning). Greeley Recreation staff at the Rodarte Community Center worked with students daily to achieve their academic goals.

With schools going from in-person learning to virtual, many students struggled with access to computers, internet service, and navigating classwork and homework online. This can be a tumultuous task for those households lacking the tools and little technical experience or support. During this time, the City of Greeley’s Rodarte Community Center provided the necessary internet connectivity, assisted with Google classroom meetings, and supported students with assignments.

On a virtual learning day at the Rodarte Community Center, you’ll find kindergarten through 5th grade students in the building working on their own individual school-issued Chromebooks with their assigned teacher from their school. From 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., recreation staff members help track each student’s schedule, keep them on task, and lend a hand with schoolwork throughout the day. They also take students’ temperatures hourly and report this information on Brightwheel, a software program designed to communicate with parents/guardians in both English and Spanish to keep them informed. Participants and staff wear masks, wash their hands frequently and follow social distancing guidelines to keep all students and staff members safe and healthy.

On in-person school days, Rodarte staff members pick up students from Billie Martinez Elementary after classes are completed and provide transportation to their center. Students are checked in on the Brightwheel App, and their temperatures are recorded before getting on the bus. Once the bus arrives at the Rodarte Center, students wash their hands (as well as frequently throughout their stay), continue to wear their masks, and are grouped in their respective cohorts set by Billie Martinez Elementary School to ensure continued safety. Staff members take temperatures at the top of every hour and record them.

When school is not in session, the after-school program begins with personal arts and crafts projects, life skills classes, and physical activities to entertain and engage students. Supplies are dispersed individually to prevent cross-contamination and the need to share. Facility staff continually sanitize the common areas throughout the center to keep the spread of germs at bay.

One of Rodarte Community Center’s community partners, the Weld Food Bank, also provides each student a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack while attending the center. Additionally, the food bank provides students with a backpack filled with food to take home on Fridays for the weekend.

All these plans are in place to help achieve three main goals of the Rodarte Community Center:

  • Health and wellness (ensuring they are focusing on the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of each child);
  • Parent Engagement and Risk Management (initiating a positive relationship with parents/guardians and providing a safe, healthy, and structured environment for students); and
  • Academic Achievement (safeguarding students from learning gaps due to summer learning slides to COVID-19 slides).

Each staff member is committed to providing a safe environment in which to learn in the wake of this new teaching environment. With their help, program participants excelled in the areas of learning and socialization, all while keeping safe during this pandemic.

To learn more about the Rodarte Community Center and its after-school program, visit RodarteCC.com or call 970-350-9430.

Article date:
January 8, 2021