By Jennifer Niggemeier, Waukesha program coordinator
As we completed our first month of face-to-face instruction in the elementary schools, our programming has done a magnificent job making sure the children, families, and staff feel safe and cared for as the new school year looks different than previous years. Our team has enjoyed seeing all of the before/after school and 4K wrap children, and getting to hear their stories about the first few weeks of face-to-face instruction.
All of the new safety precautions we have implemented, such as face coverings, contactless drop-off/pick-up and frequent sanitization, keep our programs clean and running smoothly. One of the big changes in the program environment is no soft items such as pillows, fabric dress-up clothes, and puppets. Those have been replaced with hard surface materials/toys that are easier to clean. These include a variety of small animals for the block area, board games for small and large groups, and art materials that expose the children to different forms of styles. These new materials are helping the children expand their imagination in a safe way.
Every day, our staff look forward to socializing and participating in activities with the children. By being back in school, the children’s engagement in activities, games, and socializing have increased because of their excitement to be back with their classmates. In spite of all the hurdles 2020 has thrown at us, Waukesha staff have proven they can overcome them all. We see it in all of the children’s smiling faces.