From: Terri Hutchens
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a 16 year Kingman resident. I am a grandmother raising a six-year-old grandchild alone. I have no extended family in the area. I work full-time and have a two-hour daily commute to my employment. I was designated an essential employee and assigned additional responsibilities by my employer related to the COVID 19 response in the community in which I work. This happened simultaneously with being advised the schools would be closing and children would have to be home-schooled. The Kingman Club for Youth was a Godsend for me and my granddaughter from the outset of the COVID pandemic and throughout. Without the Club continuing to operate, I have no idea how I would have met my work responsibilities and cared for my grandchild. With the initial unknowns about the virus, taking her to work would have presented issues for co-workers and us. Due to the nature of my work and responsibilities, I was not able to work from home initially. The Club even accommodated my work schedule when my days were longer due to COVID 19, by allowing some early drop-offs.
The Club provided some much-needed normalcy, routine and emotional support for both my granddaughter and me during very uncertain, anxious, and stressful times. The kind words and encouragement of the Director, Bill Ward, were invaluable. The Club also added staff to assist working parents with the sudden mandated home-schooling, most of us were ill-equipped to carry out. I truly have no idea how we’d have gotten through the “packets” without much of the pages being done with the assistance and under the supervision of Club staff. We were able to spend what little time was available in the evenings and over the week-ends reviewing, making corrections, and completing the lists of “Specials” activities. This us better allowed us to “all get through this together,” As Bill frequently said.
The Club additionally facilitated children attending the Club receiving the school meals to which they were accustomed and upon which many families depend. It was one of the sites for the distribution of school meals to the community at large, as well. The Club was instrumental in getting information to parents regarding what would be happening with the schools for the 2020-21 school year. It clearly stood ready to assist the school district, parents, and youth in the most effective ways possible. Again, this was a comfort amid such uncertainty, especially with all the last-minute changes about how and where schooling would occur for the community’s children. Schooling continues to be accomplished “unusually.” It is understandably exhausting and stressful for my granddaughter. I know she looks forward to the familiarity of staff and activities the Club for Youth continues to offer to her after school.
Thank you, Terri, for this amazing letter!!