Steelton child care center faces challenges of virtual learning, needs volunteers


STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — Some schools in our area are starting to ease back into in-person instruction, but there’s still a big need for some type of child care and extra help for those learning online.

Christ Cornerstone Academy has been a before- and after-school program for seven years, but since the beginning of the school year, the staff has switched gears, now providing what they call cyber care for students.

“We went from four hours a day with kids to now almost nine hours a day here with kids,” said Assistant Director Khia Kenney.

Kenney and her husband Don own and operate the program, typically serving about 36 kids a day, ranging from five to 13 years old. She deals with a lot of single parents.

“And they’re working full time,” Kenney said. “And even if they’re working full-time in the home, that still was a challenge for them and they needed the kids to be outside of the home in a safe environment.”

The kids come come from different school districts with different assignments and work is virtual on tablets and laptops. “The kids missed half a school year last year so you have a kid in second grade but they missed half of first grade, so they need that assistance, somebody that can provide them that one-on-one all day type of care,” Kenney said.

That’s why Kenney says even with full-time staff, they need volunteers, whether a retired teacher or a young adult willing to help. “We have parents that they’re saying ‘I know school’s opening right now but I still want my kids to be in a smaller environment,'” Kenney said.

She says other programs like theirs are also facing similar challenges. “We want to make it easier for the school and we want to make it easier for the parents and I feel if we all work together then the children will benefit,” Kenney said.\


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