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Sunday March 7th, 2021 4:26PM

​Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier gets COVID-19 response grant

By Alyson Shields Reporter

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier received a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Grant for over $39,000 to enhance their tutoring program by United Way of Greater Atlanta.

"We identified that there was such a learning loss with our kids being out of school during the pandemic, between March and September that we really needed to beef up our tutoring services," said Steven Mickens, CEO for BGCL.

The tutoring programs were increased after the pandemic hit because Mickens said they noticed students, elementary aged especially, struggling to keep up with virtual and remote learning.

"That grant allowed us to hire some tutors that were certified teachers to help our extension sites, to help those kids make up for that learning loss," Mickens said. It also assisted in the purchase of PPE gear.

After the clubs reopened in July and school started back up in the fall, Mickens said they used the clubs as a hub for students who needed access to technology to get their work done.

BGCL is a non-profit, and Mickens said the grant comes as a relief. But he was also quick to applaud their supporters who kept funding programs for their 558 kids even as COVID-19 changed things. 

"The more funding relocated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier, the more obligated I feel to make sure those donors that have invested in us get a great return," he said.

He was also grateful for their over 200 staff members and their tutors that were all in to help their students.

He said they took great strides to keep the clubs safe, too. They added temperature checks, social distancing, mask wearing and increased sanitation efforts. Mickens said they're happy to report they've not had an contractions or contaminations.

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