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Decatur Youth Services starts ‘grab and go’ summer camp to keep helping kids during coronavirus

Decatur Youth Services is keeping kids engaged while keeping a distance.

Posted: Jun 18, 2020 5:47 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2020 9:50 PM

In Decatur, the city is finding different ways to keep kids engaged while keeping social distancing a priority.

WAAY 31 learned how Decatur Youth Services is making sure kids stay caught up on learning with "Grab and Go Summer Camp."

All you have to do is come up and grab a bag and there are things inside with detailed reading and math skills.

There's also challenges for kids to complete throughout the week to promote summer school learning.

"With the pandemic going on, the kids been stir crazy. There's only so much you can do at home, there's only so much you can do at home... So many places you can hide in your house, playing it and tag," said Tracie Mathis.

Tracie Mathis is one of several people who came to the Decatur Youth Services tent Thursday morning.

The group set up at Sandlin Villa to hand out activities for kids to do over the next several weeks.

The grab and go summer camp bags come complete with masks and learning activities to do at home.

Which is something Mathis and his kids are thankful for.

"There's only so many books you can read until you go out of it so with them having this, they've been anticipating this ever since we got the flyer," he said.

Since the school year ended abruptly in March and plans are still up in the air for the Fall, Decatur's Youth Services department knew they had to do something to keep kids ahead of the learning curve.

So every week for the next 6 weeks, they'll be out at various locations to give kids the grab and go bags.

Parents told us it gives their kids something new to look forward to each week and they're grateful they have resources like this so close to home.

"It is uplifting to be able to have them come to us and not find ourselves in harm's way," said Mathis.

Decatur Youth Services passes out the bags in a different neighborhood every week.

They'll share the location a few days ahead of time.

DYS told us they're continuously working to create different engagement plans for kids as the coronavirus changes and say they want to hear from you on what you'd like to see as well.

You can contact them by calling 256-341-4690

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