BeEnriched Buffalo Summer Learning Enrichment Program Announced
Special program of distance learning targets families affected by digital divide
Production has begun on a series of half-hour courses for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade that are designed to help them receive distance learning instruction because they are lacking internet or computer access. The program, dubbed “Buffalo Summer Learning Enrichment”, is an effort that uses Buffalo school teachers conducting learning via a broadcast television outlet.
The programs will be airing each morning, Monday-Friday from early August through September.  Four ½ hour courses will be broadcast on WNYO-TV Channel 49, a Sinclair Broadcasting station.
“We are embarking on this enrichment program as a way to accelerate learning for our Buffalo school kids who have found it difficult to learn at home,” states Dr. Darren Brown-Hall, Chief of Staff of the Buffalo Public Schools, “since unfortunately about 1/3 of children in the city are not able to get internet usage or a computer.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has shuttered schools in Buffalo since mid-March.
Courses will be STEM-centered.  The first two half-hours (10am-11am) will target younger learners and the second two half-hours (11am-12noon) will be aimed at higher grades. The program is the collaboration of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and Western New York in cooperation with the Buffalo Public School administration and teachers.
In addition to the televised classes, there will be a series of five “field trips” that will run within the programming.  These will include pre-taped segments shot at the Buffalo Museum of Science, The Buffalo Zoo, Tifft Nature Preserve, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery – Northland Complex, and the African American Heritage Corridor. Funding for the programs was obtained from Harmac Medical Products Company, The Community Action Organization of Western New York, and an anonymous donor.
“We are eager to help our families in the Buffalo area to get special classes this summer,” states Mr. John Sommers, CEO of Harmac, “We have several hundred  employees at our local production facility, many of whom reside in the city. It is important to us that this summer learning enrichment program become a reality so kids can learn remotely before in-person classes resume.” 
L. Nathan Hare, The CEO of Community Action Organization of Western New York  (CAOWNY) believes this partnership will help engage school-aged children, teachers, and parents while schools are closed this summer.   “It is our hope that these classes will bring our kids some bridging of the gap in their education that the Covid-19 pandemic has created,” states Hare.
Production of the classes is taking place at the Buffalo Academy for Performing & Visual Arts School television studio at 450 Masten Avenue.

The REACH Ferry Street Walking Initiative is still in motion after delays from the COVID pandemic. This REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Project works along the entire Ferry Street Corridor in Buffalo, NY, and uses an empowerment model to engage with local community members to form walking clubs, advocate for Complete Streets Policies, conduct community walkability assessments, and facilitate capacity-building trainings and education workshops to promote community health, well-being, and quality of life.

Get involved today! Contact the REACH Team at BeActive@City-Buffalo.org or (716) 851-4052

Community Advocacy Team Update:

Since the pandemic hit, the WNY WALKS! Community Advocacy Team CAT) has been meeting on a monthly basis via conference calls and Zoom to stay in the loop on ongoing activities.

  • The City of Buffalo Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Council has been addressing bike and pedestrian safety via advocacy efforts, support of community action, and overseeing the implementation of our Regional Bike Master Plan from the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council.
  • Advocacy for a Buffalo-Niagara Pedestrian Master Plan is still in the works; this policy would supplement the Regional Bike Master Plan by putting an emphasis on pedestrian safety.
  • The Sunset Striders, Hamburg Moves, and Riverside Walkers are on hold for community walks; however, contact us to learn about virtual walking routes and events!
  • Reflective Walks in the Park are still on! The first Sunday of every month at 10:45 in Delaware Park…learn more here.
  • Coalition for a Vibrant Seneca Street success in streetscapes, community banners, park signs, and a new mural!

Visit our WNY WALKS! Page to learn more about our CAT!

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