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The original item was published from 8/14/2020 6:19:50 PM to 8/28/2020 5:00:12 PM.

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Roanoke News

Posted on: August 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] COVID19 Recovery Task Force - Help For Families With Children Learning Virtually

UWRV Smart2Start Program

Recognizing that families will be impacted on how to help their children learn virtually due to COVID-19, the City of Roanoke has created a task force to collaborate with a variety of local organizations that would be able to host programs to assist families during the school day. Partnerships have been formed with United Way of Roanoke Valley (UWRV),  Kidsoar, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of SW Virginia, Good Will, Imagine Me Mentor, Blue Ridge Behavioral Health, West End Center, Science Center of Western Virginia, Cafe Arts and Sisters of Change to help establish day programs for parents that will be impacted by virtual learning due to COVID-19 when the school year starts on August 31. 

The City of Roanoke has designated at least $2 million from CARES Act Recovery Funds for this effort that will help to serve at least 600 children in the City of Roanoke.  "Support of the youth in our community as they learn via the Virtual Academy is one of the City’s top COVID-19 recovery priorities.  While we know this effort will be unable to assist every child, it is one way we can come together and help increase the learning experience for many in our community," says Bob Cowell, City Manager for City of Roanoke.  

“This is a great example of a community coming together to help our teachers, parents, and students,” said School Board Member Dick Willis. “This will be a huge help for our families. Rest assured Roanoke City Public Schools is working hard with our partners to enhance virtual learning in a safe environment for children.”

“Imagine Me is making this educational opportunity a priority and ensuring that our kids are provided structure, mentorship, resources and love. We have been given a genuine opportunity to provide tangible support to Roanoke’s most vulnerable populations,” says Xavier Duckett, CEO of Imagine Me Mentoring LLC.

Beginning late next week applications from parents and caregivers will be accepted through United Way’s Smart2Start program at

 “This is our village, our community. United Way is excited to work alongside so many partners to serve our most vulnerable families as schools reopen. In this critical time, we must rally around our students and their families knowing that they need our support.  The path to our community’s recovery requires coming together, bringing our collective strengths, assets and resources to accomplish more than what we would’ve been able to do alone,” says Abby Hamilton, President  & CEO of UWRV.


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