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West Side Community Services connecting student for the school year

Posted at 8:11 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 08:11:36-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Having a place to go for help, resources, and internet connection-- West Side Community Services is providing all of this for Buffalo families.

“So they don’t feel so disconnected and right now that is even more important," Executive Director Kate Hilliman has been working with her team to make sure the community center on Vermont Avenue is ready to go for the start of the school year. "Even though it sounds counter-intuitive having community centers open, having these hubs open is so critical because people need to know they have these tools and have someone on the other end that wants to help.”

Starting on Tuesday the center is opening its doors again for a day and after school programming. The center was open for the summer but closed for a few weeks to make sure the facility was ready for September.

“We will have academic support, recreational and support learning, and hot meals," Hilliman said.

Hilliman says capacity is reduced and the safety measures are in place.

The center has 30 Chromebooks and a West Side Learning Lab for students who need to connect.

“Come on in, use our internet," Hilliman said. "We can serve a lot of different needs, come on down during the day to get your schoolwork done, or come after school and do your homework.”

Hilliman says staff is ready to welcome students back and be there for them when they need it.

“They [students] need social support, they need one-on-one support navigating virtual learning. There are so many different levels, after the long shut down in the spring we noticed a lot of regression and many kids turned inward,” Hilliman said.

To register your child into their after school program you can call the community center or visit their website.