Throughout the pandemic, we have continually monitored our community’s emerging needs and pivoted programs to best serve our youth and families. We are proud of the way our community has adapted, and grateful to the many supporters who have made our pandemic response possible.
When COVID required school closures in March 2020, Peace closed for one week so staff could determine next steps to best support our youth and families.
A week later, Peace reopened to offer in-person support for virtual learning for 125 underserved K-12 youth—and online trainings for their parents, since parents needed to be able to navigate online platforms like Schoology and PowerSchool to support their kids’ academic success.
Peace partnered with the Ann Arbor Public Schools to pilot the Connections+ program: a model where local community centers provide synchronous in-person support for underserved youth enrolled in the public schools’ virtual Summer Learning Program. We also offered fun enrichment activities in the afternoon.
Given the education crisis posed by the pandemic, we wanted to ensure that each of our youth could receive tutoring during both the summer and school year. Since our volunteer tutor program had been suspended in March 2020, Peace needed to increase staff hours and hire more staff—additional costs that are not necessary during a normal year, thanks to our volunteer tutors!
School Year 2020-21
Starting in September 2020, we implemented the Connections+ program to provide in-person support for virtual learning for 125 K-12 youth. We continually evaluated the needs of our youth and families, listening to our community.
We focused on:
- Ensuring youth were attending and engaged in their virtual classes
- Providing tech support
- Supporting assignment completion
- Creating plans for academic success
- Offering social-emotional opportunities where youth could connect with peers and mentors
All five Peace high school seniors graduated in June 2021—and continued on to college or trade school this fall. Our volunteer tutors provide critical academic support and mentorship to set our youth on the path to higher education.
During Summer Youth Services, Peace kids:
- explored our local community and beyond on field trips
- dove into enrichment opportunities through special interest clubs and workshops
- made new friends and fun memories
School Year 2021-22
The 2021-22 school year has brought new discoveries—and uncertainties, as we navigate a world with several COVID variants. As we did last year, Peace has continually reevaluated our community’s needs and is prepared to adjust or pivot programs—especially if there’s a shift back to virtual learning.
Our highest priority is ensuring the safety, health, and emotional well-being of our youth and families. We will make sure Peace kids stay engaged with their education, on track to graduate, and ready for college or trade school. And we will provide our families with the support and resources they need to keep moving forward toward a bright and better future.
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