DEA EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Updated: Jun 10
Dear Friends of the Foundation:
During these unusual and challenging times, we feel it is as important as ever to reach our communities. Kids are feeling the pressure and stress of the unknown and many have lost their safe-haven of school where they find structure, meals, positive programming, and mentorship. Parents are feeling more pressure than ever with financial concerns, job loss, at-home schooling, and anxious children. And, as reported in Philadelphia, though the COVID-19 outbreak is making its way through the streets, the illegal drug market has not slowed down; drug dealers have simply adapted by wearing masks and gloves.
It is our goal to continue to reach our communities, even if virtually, to bring families and youth critical education and positive messaging. At the onset of COVID-19 and school closures we immediately began developing the following programs:
Happy at Home with the DEAEF Youth Dance Program. This project focuses on having our dance instructors create mini-video clips to reach their students with positive messaging and a short combination to learn. These videos have been reaching students directly where districts have on-line learning and have been posted to our social media. As we move forward, our registered students will be able to send posts with their own dance creations back to their teachers as well.
A pilot program of on-line dance classes in several regions across the United States to reach currently enrolled students who have access to online learning through their schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other youth centers. These programs are showing tremendous success with kids expressing they are not only thrilled for the healthy and fun movement, but also so happy to see their teachers.
The establishment of online baseball, martial arts, and soccer workshop pilot programs where kids can work on drills, positions, and warm-ups with their coaches.
With the uncertainties of the re-opening of our schools in the Fall, we are also developing longer-term plans to partner with DEA in reaching school districts through youth programming and Red Ribbon events even virtually if necessary. The Foundation is also currently developing an online parent education series and considering an online national educational event and fundraiser if we can’t meet with our supporters in person. Of course nothing beats human to human contact when it comes to education, programming, and role-modeling, but we can’t give up on making a difference for those we serve.
William F. Alden
Jill L. Roberts
Senior VP and Director of Youth Programming