DATE: MARCH 13, 2020
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley’s priority is always the safety of the many children and youth we serve. As the COVID-19 Coronavirus evolves, we continue to monitor the guidelines and directives from the CDC, and other trusted experts, including our local health departments. They are the experts, and we are committed to following recommended and required preventive practices for the health of our kids, their families, and our community.
To date, we have implemented several measures designed to help prevent the spread of this virus, including, but not limited to:
-We have canceled all employee participation in large group events through April 15, including our own events that would bring guests into our facilities and programs.
-We are making special accommodations for our employees who fall into the categories identified by the CDC as especially vulnerable.
-We have advised our employees to use telephonic or online meeting applications instead of face-to-face meetings with people from outside the state or from a community with COVID-19 cases.
-We have canceled or postponed all non-essential travel.
-We are requiring current employees who have traveled to a place with a COVID-19 coronavirus case or have traveled on a commercial airline to self-isolate for 14 days.
-We have suspended direct contact between volunteers and community partners with our young people.
If Schools Close
We have plans in place as well to respond should local schools need to close. In the event this occurs, our concern for the safety of our children and youth escalates, for we know that in many cases, they may end up being in unsupervised environments. For some, essential nutrition may become a concern.
That is why we will work to provide as much service as possible in an online, virtual fashion. For example, we will work with parents to supply access to our STRIDE learning environment and expect to be able to create online communities for families taking part in our Center for Grieving Children. Our team members who work in our case management services will continue to reach out to children and youth during the school closure period by phone and also through the use of online resources.
Concerning our food program, we are working on providing bagged meals for kids and families via a “drive-thru” set up.
Concerning in-person services that may continue, we expect to be able to provide counseling and crisis intervention services, including to the vulnerable population of runaway and homeless youth we serve.
Unfortunately, if schools do close to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, the Boys & Girls Club of Appleton and the Boys & Girls Club of Menasha will close. Our school-based Boys & Girls Clubs will close if the school they are in closes. Our standard practice has been that when schools close, our Clubs in Appleton and Menasha remain open. However, given the nature of this situation, we regretfully will have to handle this differently.
The families and young people who depend on the Boys & Girls Clubs need to know we are committed to providing as much support and help as we can, in a safe manner, for as long as the COVID-19 Coronavirus remains a public health emergency.
We will provide updates through our website (www.bgclubfoxvalley.org) and via social media platforms as information becomes available.