YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley took its after-school program virtual when schools closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Way’s Success After 6 program is available at many schools in the area. The program is for students who are academically at risk or for families in need of after-school care.
Karolina DeCoulon had her daughters in Success After 6 at Struthers Elementary because she and her fiancé worked later in the afternoon. All they needed was the after-school help but she said they got so much more.
DeCoulon’s daughters had a place to spend time with friends, make connections with the program’s coordinators and get homework help when they needed it. On Fridays when they didn’t have Success After 6, she said her kids missed it.
For the DeCoulon family, it’s been difficult not having the program in-person lately, but they do appreciate how the United Way moved it online.
“This was kind of making up for it,” DeCoulon said. “Live videos from teachers and Mr. McElroy. It was really nice because they were able to see them and it was that connection, like this, ‘It’s OK. It’s going to be OK.'”
One of DeCoulon’s daughters, Arianna, will be too old for Success After 6 this school year but her other daughter, Carolina, is looking forward to the virtual version Struthers will be hosting.
During the pandemic, the United Way was able to give local schools a total of $75,000 in grocery store gift cards that could be given to families in need. The organization also delivered food and essential goods to Success After 6 families.
33 WYTV News is working to help the United Way help people in the community. Today, we will try to help with a telethon we call Rise United. WYTV is joining with local United Way chapters in each of our counties to raise money for their programs. Watch 33 News at 6 p.m. for stories about how United Way is helping and for the number you can call to pledge a donation.