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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

Spitfire returns for its first-ever hybrid season of programming

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

With the lingering pandemic becoming our new normal and schools returning to full-time in person programming, it's been a tremendous joy -- and, honestly, relief -- to get back to business with in person Spitfire programming this fall.

Just like the leaves, this fall has brought so much change to the Spitfire Club. We were thrilled to transition our work with Community Lodgings back to live and in person. We have also been happy to get to know the girls at Cora Kelly Elementary School who were originally rectangles on a screen as three-dimensional, living and breathing little people! Just weeks before the world ground to a halt in March of 2020, we had begun to launch a partnership with Charles Houston Recreation Center and we've been thrilled to finally get this one off the ground. Across four cohorts, Spitfire has been working with 46 Spitfires in-person each week -- socially distant and masked -- but still singing and dancing, reading and creating, and generally relishing the opportunity to reconnect with one another.

We just couldn't say goodbye to online programming, so we operated in two modes this fall! Spitfire online was hard at first and certainly different from how we had originally envisioned Spitfire, but we also found a lot of GOOD in the experience. We got to work with girls we wouldn't have met otherwise (from as far away as Minnesota and as close as Capitol Heights, MD), we got to bring amazing new Mentors into our fold, we learned new and better ways to engage caregivers in our work, we formalized offering programming for 4th and 5th graders (previously we were Pre-K - 3rd grade only), and we learned how to get a LOT of books into kids' hands and homes. We've had Spitfires move away during the pandemic who got to take us with them to their new homes, even across time zones.

Using all of the things we've learned from the pandemic, we've found that this new and improved Spitfire 2.0 is able to serve a variety of kids, partners, and caregivers in the ways they need us to. We've had the tremendous pleasure of hosting 71 kids each week and we're excited that we have been asked to add three new cohorts to our offerings in January of 2022, expanding our reach to as many as 105 kids each week! Stay tuned for more good news as we continue to grow and hopefully thrive in this new normal!

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