FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — On Monday morning, Carrollton Park was buzzing with volunteers as two local non-profits are spearheading efforts to give away thousands of school buckets.
“Right now, we’re in a difficult time with the [COVID-19] crisis and the school buckets main emphasis is to keep our families engaged,” explained founder and executive director of I Believe in Me Inc., Aje Hill.
I Believe in Me Inc. (IBM) and City Youth Matrix (CYM) have collaborated to fill in a significant gap–hands-on learning for students no longer able to engage in a classroom amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“In the online learning, as we known, technology is important. Wifi is important. Sometime wifi crashes, sometimes people don’t have the necessary resources to provide wifi,” Hill explained.
So the organizations alongside local philanthropies and the City of Frederick, are on a mission to distribute 15,000 school buckets to students of all grade levels. Inside each bucket are several learning and playful activities.
“In all of the buckets, there is a blend of art, music, athletic or physical education, stem as well as family engagement activities,” said founder and executive director of CYM, Aaron Vetter.
“In Frederick county, the ALICE rate, the kids underneath of the poverty line is up to about 15,000 kids, so our ambition here is very large,” said Hill.
The buckets include games like Connect 4 and 4M Kidzrobotix to stimulate learning. Each bucket also includes with a musical instrument, like a xylophone and instructions on how to log online and learn to play.
“It works not only with keeping students intellectually engaged, but also helps with keeping families engaged. It works on students’ ability to think critically, to be creative,” explained Delegate Ken Kerr.
Kerr, a retired professor and former member on the Frederick County Board of Education, volunteered time to distribute buckets alongside currently board president, Brad Young.
“IBM and CYM are really trying to compliment what would be going on in the school system at this time,” Kerr said.
Volunteers will continue distributing throughout the week at 12 different city park locations.
Families walk away with items that easily add up to more than 75 dollars in value.
“It’s hugely important to have something fun. It’s nice to have the basics, but it’s really nice to have something fun, and that’s definitely not something we have disposable income for right now,” said Melinda, Frederick resident and mom of two kids.
Park distribution will occur per the following schedule:
Mondays Carrollton Park, 455 Center St, Frederick, MD 21701 (11:00 am)
Taskers Chance Park, Key Pkwy, Frederick, MD 21702 (12:00 pm)
Hillstreet Park, 100 Hill St, Frederick, MD 21703 (2:00 pm)
Hillcrest Park, McCain Dr, Frederick, MD 21703 (2:45 pm)
Tuesdays Staley Park, 11 W 10th St, Frederick, MD 21701 (2:00 pm)
Riverwalk Park, Schifferstadt Blvd, Frederick, MD 21701 (2:45 pm)
Wednesdays Amber Meadows Park, 201 Amber Dr, Frederick, MD 21702 (2:00 pm)
Willowbrook Park, McClellan Dr, Frederick, MD 21702 (2:45 pm)
Thursdays Monarch Ridge Park, Swallowtail Dr, Frederick, MD 21703 (11:00 am)
Lake Coventry Park, Schaffer Dr, Frederick, MD 21702 (12:00 pm)
Baker Park, Fleming Ave, Soccer Fields, Fleming Ave, Frederick, MD 21701 (2:00 pm)
Max Kehne Park, 1100 W 7th St, Frederick, MD 21701 (2:45 pm)
According to a press release by the City of Frederick, to ensure the safety of all in parks, City Youth Matrix and I Believe in Me will be taking appropriate measures, including limiting gathering to less than ten people; ensuring physical distancing for volunteers and those picking up materials; providing PPE to volunteers; and addition space marking systems to aid with distribution flow.
For more information on the School Bucket Program visit https://cityyouthmatrix.com/response-to-covid-19