New free after-school program for kids aims to close COVID learning gap

At Maple Elementary School in Ventura County, school is out for the day.

Some students get a snack and start the next part of their day – after school enrichment.

For many of them – and many like them – for the better part of two years, learning has moved online, at the height of the COVID pandemic.

Now, this new after-school enrichment program offers extra support for those who have fallen behind.

The program is called Find My Genius and is similar to a summer camp program the YMCA offers to children who weren’t reading in grade level.

New state funding from the Expanded Learning Program has allowed the YMCA program to expand throughout the year, and Megan Glynn, director of development for YMCA of Southeast Ventura County, said that it is designed to help bridge the learning gap due to COVID.

Glynn said the program focused on physical fitness and social and emotional learning, as well as homework help.

Free find my genius The pilot program takes place after school in the Conejo Valley Unified School District and will expand to the Las Virgenes Unified School District in the fall.

Two hundred young English language learners in foster care started the program last month and the students here today certainly approve of the program.

The number of children enrolled in the program has increased from 240 to 400 this summer.