WILBRAHAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Parents are reaching out to our hotline, concerned over childcare services and a lack of Wifi in their home when it comes to remote learning.
Western Mass News is Your School Authority and we’re digging deeper into one local hot spot that's switching things up to help parents and stay afloat.
“He ain’t got no internet in the house, so we're wondering what kind of help we got to help him out,” said Olga Perez, sister of a student at Springfield Science and Technical High School.
Perez reached out to the Western Mass News School Authority hotline. She's just one of many concerned about the lack of Wifi ahead of remote learning.
“Parents showing their frustrations with what to do when kids go back to school,” said Robert Gould, owner of Interskate 91 South in Wilbraham.
The pandemic is causing issues for businesses, schools, and parents alike.
“During our summer camp program is when we really started to hear this is something the community needs and it’s one way for us to be involved with customers and community,” Gould added.
That’s why Gould said he's now offering the skating rink to students.
“We’re going to offer childcare from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for kids to do their school work,” Gould noted.
Gould told Western Mass News for households with no Wifi or childcare issues, parents can sign their children up for a remote monitored learning environment at Interskate91 South.
“We have a very competent staff. We are familiar, so if kids encounter problems technology-wise or in a certain subject, we are here to provide some direction. We don’t claim to be teachers or tutors, but as parents ourselves, we know how to get through,” Gould said.
Following licensing from the state, Gould and staff can take on 45 kids this coming school year and easily spread them apart throughout the huge facility.
“Parents can drop-off their kids in a clean, well-maintained facility with supervision from people who have been doing this for decades….and of course, there will be plenty of time to learn, but also a unique atmosphere for the kids to have a whole lotta fun…We will build in breaks important to have breaks and step away from the computer for a little bit, so we will build that in,” Gould added.
Gould will charge $35 per day and registration is required in advance.
Many local libraries are also offering free Wifi for students in need.
Springfield Public Schools is working with Comcast to also offer free internet.