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Virtual learning

Children in Erie County who need a safe and healthy environment while they are engaged in virtual learning soon will be able to go to 71 centers throughout the county.

Some of the virtual learning support centers are expected to open by Oct. 5.

The $14 million investment in the centers at all 28 school districts in the county is part of approximately $25 million in federal CARES Act funding Erie County is using to support schools, child care providers and caregivers.

“This investment in children, education, and childcare is unprecedented in our county’s history and underscores the gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the lives of children,” County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said in announcing the grants.

About $4 million will be used to support child care providers and about $7 million will be used to replenish and expand the child care subsidy to include families earning up to 85% of the state median income.

The centers are primarily for students between 5 and 12 years old and will be free to attend for parents earning less than 85% of the state median income.

Say Yes Buffalo will establish 42 centers in Buffalo. The YWCA of Western New York will establish two in Lackawanna and the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns will establish one center for the Tonawanda City School District and the Charter School for Applied Technologies.

Erie 1 BOCES will open centers for Alden, Lancaster, Williamsville, Sweet Home, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda, West Seneca, Maryvale, Grand Island, Amherst, Cleveland Hill, Depew, Clarence, Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, Hamburg and Akron school districts. Erie 2 BOCES will open centers for East Aurora, Eden, Holland, Gowanda, Iroquois, Lake Shore, North Collins, Orchard Park and Springville-Griffith Institute school districts.

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