Hamilton center creates lunch, study hall program for urban students

Don'Pierre Wilson, 9, right, and Jay Johnson, 6, eat a snack a t Booker T. Washington Community Center Wednesday, August 26, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Don'Pierre Wilson, 9, right, and Jay Johnson, 6, eat a snack a t Booker T. Washington Community Center Wednesday, August 26, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The Booker T. Washington Community Center is starting a study hall program in which students attending classes part of the week can meet the other days and also receive meals.

“We know there’s going to be a huge need in the community with kids who won’t be in school on this hybrid model” said Samy Broyles of the BTW Center and the YMCA.

Under the model used by Hamilton city schools, all students are out of school on Wednesdays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, students with last names that start with A-K are in school, with those from L-Z in school Thursdays and Fridays.

“Our goal is to help try to fill the gap and give those kids a place to work,” Broyles said.

Some homes are less conducive to learning than others, he said. The program will give students internet access for their computers so they can do their class work.

For students who don’t have classes on particular days, the program will run from noon to 2:30 p.m. There won’t be trained educators there for them, but there will be lunch. For the students who are in class those days, from 3-6 p.m. the center will offer the traditional after-school program where students can do homework, get dinner and play in the gymnasium.

On Wednesdays, when everybody is off, there will be an all-day study hall from noon to 6 p.m. for everybody.

Liza Deaton, director of marketing and communications for the YMCA, said the organization also is offering a full-day program that’s operated out of its child care, for working families that need somewhere for their children to go the entire day.

“This program, at BTW, is more for the kids who just need space to do their work, the internet, the lunch, all that kind of stuff, and that’s a partial-cay program,” Deaton said.

Children at the BTW program can walk themselves in and out, not needing pick-ups or drop-offs by parents, Broyles said.

Program officials plan to let parents know about the offering this week. There was a gradual opening of the program earlier this week. The center, at 1140 S Front St., can be reached at 513-785-2451 or btwdesk@gmvymca.org,

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