Boys and Girls Clubs are Full STEAM Ahead


Learn how the Sweet Home and Lebanon groups are virtually teaching kids Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM)

GREATER SANTIAM– On a normal day, children crowd the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sweet Home and Lebanon to play, participate in sports and attend fun events. These of course are not normal times. Now that most kids are staying home to save lives and flatten the curve, staff at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Santiam came up with a way to keep children engaged and continue to serve their community; follow along here.

Staff member Tyler Reece is now posting three activities a day to the Boys and Girls Club Facebook page intended to be fun and educational. The added bonus? Many of the educational activities are fun, like building bridges out of marshmallows and toothpicks. These Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) projects help kids continue to learn important skills while schools are closed.

Kids are invited to the virtual sessions through a colorful flier on social media. The flyer spells out the daily theme, the STEAM project and the book for the day that a staff member reads to the virtual audience.

“It’s hard for the employees to not work with the kids face-to-face, but we are dedicated to continue to serve them,” says Kris Latimer, the Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Santiam. Latimer says the clubs not only provide activities for children, but they act as hubs for other resources in the community, like help with food. Latimer and her team recently went grocery shopping for a family with limited means that had just moved to the area.

On Saturday April 4, families in Lebanon and Sweet Home could stop by either Boys and Girls Club location to pick up weekend lunch and breakfast for the kids. They even included items the kids will need for next week’s STEAM project.

Latimer is thankful to see communities and partners come together to serve families, and so far, the response from parents has been positive.

Governor Kate Brown applauds their devotion to meeting families’ needs. “It’s work like this that keeps our communities close-knit, even when we must stay physically separated for the sake of everyone’s health and safety,” she said. “Thank you for your dedication and determination to the continued care for the kids in our state’s communities, big and small.”

You can follow along here to watch the daily story time and STEAM videos.

About Author

Deb Curran is a Communications Officer with the Oregon Department of Human Services

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