San Diego

From Yoga to Legos: After School Program Goes Virtual Without Missing A Beat

The Whole Child Learning Company in San Diego transitioned to online learning with a range of hands-on subjects for students

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Schools might be closed, but in San Diego the learning continues with slight adjustments.

One after-school program is now moving its classes online and it’s a much needed boost for students and parents trying to figure out learning from home.

The Agia family, like so many, is adjusting to the new normal. A second grader at Pacific Beach Elementary School, Oliver Agia told NBC 7 it’s taking time to fully adjust to learning from a distance.

“Now I'm on a computer like doing this and I see all my classmates. It’s kind of weird everybody is seeing what we're doing. Hearing in the background dogs barking, cats meowing,” said Oliver.

He and his mother Elizabeth jumped right into homeschooling once San Diego Unified School District closed classrooms due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"It is quite challenging and I am not a teacher, you know, and I was not prepared for this. So it's been a slow transition," said Elizabeth.

As districts prepare to transition to virtual classrooms, Oliver's after-school enrichment program, the Whole Child Learning Company never skipped a beat.

Richard Beitey and his wife Kristina, run the program and teach numerous subjects meant to keep kids engaged and hands-on; anything from yoga to computer coding to Lego engineering.

"So every class we start with the specific challenge that the kids need to help solve and then we guide them through the different special pieces they're going to use and we teach them how they work, like gears and pulleys," said Beitey. “Yoga is a popular class because kids need more mindfulness skills and tools to help deal with, you know, emotional stress or helps them keep an active body and active mind at the same time.”

Going online is working out the best it can for all those involved.

“He brought out my love for Legos and now I basically have a room full of them," said Oliver.

"We do our days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and so having that break and having Richard’s company be online and we can just you know, take a break from Oliver and I and he can jump on with somebody else and learn from them. I mean it's priceless," Elizabeth said.

Each class is $15 and lasts an hour. The program teaches more than 500 kids a week, Beitey told NBC 7.

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