Distant learning creates unique hurdles for teachers and students. It is particularly challenging for elementary students who lack the necessary resources to support remote study. One temporary solution to this COVID-19 created problem is the Community Hub program.

The Community Hub program is a new innovative concept aimed at helping San Francisco students with distance learning. Under a larger initiative and in partnership with other agencies, Felton Institute piloted the “Early Care and Education Community Hub.” It targets underserved students, ages 6-13 years, children of essential workers, those entering Kindergarten, or younger siblings (ages 0-5) of children attending ECE programs. The ECE community hub is one of 45 hubs launched by The San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF) in response to the learning needs of SFUSD students during COVID-19. Other community hubs are housed inside community centers, recreation facilities, and libraries.

Felton Early Care and Education (ECE) Community Hub

Felton’s Chief Operating Officer and CYF &TAY Division Director Yohana Quiroz called the pilot program launch a success and hoped to enroll more children to serve a total of 24 students. The program is free and open to children who meet income, need, and eligibility under the California Department of Education (CDE), General Childcare Program.

“During these unprecedented times, Felton is excited to partner with the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, the Office of Early Care and Education, and First Five San Francisco to launch the ECE Community Hub to serve underserved children living in public housing without reliable internet, have special needs, are English language learners and whose parents are working as essential workers with in-person distance learning supports, including access to Chromebook, WiFi connectivity, and meals while meeting their social and emotional needs in a fun and engaging environment.” – Yohana Quiroz, CYF & TAY Director

During the pilot stage, the programs will support at least 100 children citywide engaged in SFUSD distance learning curriculum, offering students a place to be during the school day to help get logged into school and allow their parents to go to work. The programs provide three meals and snacks, distance learning supports, enrichment, physical activities, and support youth with their social-emotional development.

Afternoon programming has a strong focus on Social Emotional Learning, incorporating game playing and fun activities to build community, personal connections, and socialization. This center is a safe place for students to get much-needed interaction with other kids within county and city pandemic health guidelines like wearing masks during the day and practicing social distancing.

As the program continues to roll out in San Francisco, officials say the educational assistance program will help over 6,000 children with their distance-learning needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Felton is ready to serve.

Felton Early Care and Education (ECE) Community Hub

For more information about the Felton ECE Community Hub, please contact Gaby Perez, Admissions Coordinator admissions@felton.org or 415 282-1090.

About Felton Institute: Founded in 1889, Felton Institute responds to human needs by providing cutting edge, evidence-based mental health and social services that transform lives. Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.

Offering more than 50 acclaimed and honored programs that address homelessness, mental health, prenatal, adolescent, adult and senior needs, Felton Institute provides services in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Monterey counties.

Felton is named for its social services pioneer and executive director Dr. Katharine “Kitty” Felton who was called the ”conscience of San Francisco” and was committed to ensuring that children and families in crisis have access to social services and resources in order to help them build upon their inherent strengths and develop self-sufficiency. www.felton.org