A ‘gamechanger’ for student parents

By Long Beach City College

Collaboration breaks down barriers by providing free after-school care for students’ children

The Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach (BGCLB) to give LBCC student parents the option to enroll their school-aged children in free after-school programming.

The pilot program is free to all LBCC students and provides after-school care for children ages 6 to 18. The program will operate 2 p.m.– 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and will be located on-site at LBCC’s Liberal Arts Campus, and the John C. & Alice Wallace Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach, located only one block from LBCC’s Pacific Coast Campus.

“Long Beach City College continues to break the barriers that sometimes challenge our students from achieving their educational goals,” said LBCCD Superintendent-President Dr. Mike Muñoz. “I reflect on my own personal experience as a single student parent working to get my degree and make a better life for myself and my daughter. I know firsthand the struggle to find affordable and dependable after-school care so I could attend evening classes or study groups as a community college student. This new service is simply a gamechanger for our student parents.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach will supervise site operations and activities, but the new program also will hire current LBCC students through the Federal Work-Study program to help the children with their homework and lead enrichment activities, while providing valuable work experience that will help them in their career.

“This is going to be a synergistic and beneficial relationship between the BGCLB and LBCC that will open new doors for our students,” LBCCD Board of Trustees President Herlinda Chico said. “This is one of the many ways that LBCC has been a trailblazer in providing student support. We continue to make it a priority to ask our students about the challenges they face and we listen. From our Office of Basic Needs to our Safe Parking Pilot Program – this new program once again provides services with the hope that any student who wants to succeed can succeed at LBCC.”

“We’re excited to add the LBCC Clubhouse to the long list of areas that we serve in the City of Long Beach,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Don Rodriguez. “We’re looking to help our youth reach their full potential while providing a valuable service for their parents as they better their lives and their children’s lives by completing their education.”

During the pilot phase, nearly 40 children were enrolled. LBCC announced that the afterschool childcare service is moving out of the pilot program phase and will now be offered to all current LBCC students.

Approximately 1,000 current LBCC students are parents with school-aged children, and more than 100 students indicated in a recent survey that they would use the service once it becomes available.

According to a current LBCC student, “I struggle to balance my job and school with my childcare responsibilities. My kids are already in after school care at school, but it only lasts until 5. I can’t attend any late classes because I don’t have childcare, and when I do enroll in late classes, I end up missing class and receiving bad grades because of my lack of consistent childcare.”

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Long Beach City College

is located in Long Beach, California.