The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club's (HPNC) programming has been scaled back dramatically in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but the nonprofit is fundraising to provide all-day childcare for 10 more students as the summer wanes.
Registration for kindergartners through eighth graders opened on Aug. 14; so far 30 students have enrolled, grouped into "learning pods" of up to 10 students each. There is currently room for 10 more students in the program.
Students follow virtual school schedules throughout the day with teachers' assistance as needed on in-school projects and homework. HPNC also provides recreational and enrichment activities such as gardening, nature exploration, cooking, nutrition, storytelling, photography, writing, art, debate and science in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.
A third of the currently enrolled students have state-subsidized tuition, but hardly anyone pays the full $310 weekly cost of the program. HPNC is trying to raise $100,000 in scholarship funds through the end of the year in its 2020 Learning Leadership fund campaign.
“HPNC is deeply committed to serving youth from all backgrounds. This has been true since our founding in 1909 and is especially important in today's climate," said Executive Director Angela Habr-Paranjape in a statement. “Our program will ensure equally high quality learning and enrichment for every child enrolled.
"While charging a fee for the full-day learning hub is unavoidable, HPNC is fully dedicated to all families and we plan to offer sliding-fee scholarships to those in need.”
Those wishing to donate can do so online at www.hpnclub.org. Those giving $2,020 will get special recognition at the HPNC's annual fall celebration and fundraiser, held virtually this year on Nov. 6.
“We are grateful to the many supporters who stepped up to help HPNC through the past four months, making it possible for us to serve a small number of families over the summer while keeping HPNC strong for this essential next step," said outgoing Development Director Sarah Diwan in a statement.
"We are looking to our community once again in this unprecedented time because we believe many share our commitment to equal access to essential educational resources. We look forward to working together toward the goal of making our learning hub available to all.”