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Extracurricular organizations converting spaces to remote learning camps for back to school

Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:08 PM EDT
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DENVER, N.C. (WBTV) - As most school districts in the Charlotte area are preparing for at least a portion of school to be online, many parents are trying to figure out what to do with their kids. Especially if those parents have to work.

Some businesses are seeing it as an opportunity to not only give parents an option besides daycare, but also recoup some of their losses from the quarantine shut down.

The Lake Norman Gymnastics Academy in Denver is taking the word ‘academy’ to a new level as they’re about to welcome students for their first ever e-learning camp...

“We never expected something like this, but then again who would have expected COVID,” said owner, Debra Taffi. ”I read about another gym in North Carolina doing this and thought, we could do this. We have a birthday party room we could turn to a e-learning center, we could do this. "

And that's exactly what they did.

In two weeks, the gym academy turns into a school. The e-learning camp will have kids do their remote learning in the morning, and then do gymnastic activities in the afternoon.

It’s priced at $45 a day or $200 a week. The gymnastics academy is working to hire a tutor or substitute teacher who needs to work to monitor the kids during the school portion.

“A lot of parents work and they might not have anywhere else to go. They know if they bring them here to us they will be safe and we’ll take care of them,” said Taffi.

They say the idea came to help parents, especially since there are less daycare options near the gym.

But they also said they welcome the opportunity to recoup some of the losses the gym saw during the quarantine shut down.

“We priced it much higher and then dropped our prices because we realized people won’t be able to afford a mortgage payment,” said Debra’s daughter, Kristen.

The one thing that is still up in the air, when does the gym need to get a daycare license?

According to the state’s website, camps don’t need a license unless they last more than four months.

“At this point we’re praying this is going to be over before four months and the kids will be back in school,” said Taffi.

They aren’t the only extra curricular organization to do this. There have been posts from karate schools, dance schools and others, who are offering similar services during school hours.

The Lake Norman Gymnastics Academy says they still have spots open in the camp. They expect it to fill up though once parents know their kid’s remote learning schedule, which for most school districts have yet to be distributed.

You can find out more information here.

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