Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria will reopen its reading and math, writing and arts, sports, and overall girl-power sessions starting June 1, in accordance with state guidelines regarding social-distancing practices, the nonprofit announced on Monday. Four staff members will be on hand for a maximum of 20 youngsters between the ages of 5 and 12 years old in 8 a.m.-to-noon sessions on weekdays for girls whose parents are essential workers.

Enrollment is currently at five children, director Jamie Collins said, and the plan is to place five kids per room at desks that are socially distanced apart. Collins laughed as she speculated whether they would all practice wearing hula hoops to give the children an idea of what a “social distance” might be.

Parents may only drive up to drop their kids off, masks will be required, and both children and staffers will go through a daily health screening and temperature check, Collins said. Also, regular disinfection of surfaces will take place and hand sanitation stations are set up. Backpacks and personal possessions will be left at home, with a snack provided.

Carpinteria has not yet voted to enact a mandatory mask law, Collins noted. Currently, all Girls Inc. staffers will wear masks, but it’s not recommended for children younger than 10 years old as their faces are smaller than most masks. But if Carp votes to implement masks, all summer campers will need to wear them, Collins said.

“The summer program often has 100 children on our campus and another 40 at the UCSB session,” she said. “As restrictions loosen, or as we and parents get more comfortable, we may be able to expand. We have plenty of space available!” For the teens at Girls Inc., video sessions have been ongoing since the schools moved teaching off-campus.

“A lot of parents are luckily able to go back to work,” Collins said, “and we wanted to be sure kids were in a safe spot.”

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