Endings and Beginnings

During the past 18 months, children and their families encountered trauma and change with resiliency and courage. One constant throughout is the power of caring within safe learning environments, made possible by Peninsula Family Service (PFS) educators supported by local donors. An innovation PFS has recently undertaken is the creation of our Safe Daily School Learning Hub classrooms at our Leo J. Ryan (LJR) site. Three classrooms were established early during COVID-19 where our school-age children could study and work virtually with their remote classroom teachers and schoolmates, allowing their parents to go to work. For many children, coming back to LJR meant returning to their “home away from home.” This past year, even more students were served through the support of a generous donor who made it possible to open a fourth Learning Hub at LJR. In collaboration with South San Francisco School District and Sunshine Gardens Elementary School, these learning hubs were a tremendous success.

It is clear that distance learning has taken its toll on the children, their families, and the school community. It is equally apparent that being able to attend online sessions from LJR helped the children with their academic work and supported them to heal emotionally. Our children adapted to ever changing circumstances with courage, and the shifts in their daily life both at home and at school became more manageable.

The Bohannon Family Foundation provided support for our Midway Early Learning Center to reopen with new outdoor tables and chairs to maximize outdoor time. Judy and Erica Swanson, our lead funders, and others, made STEM from the Start activities possible. Students continue to talk with confidence about becoming scientists, teachers, and computer programmers. Through it all, their hopes and dreams are well and alive.

The 2020-2021 school year ended as our children signed off online classes and parted with backpacks and hopes for an enjoyable summer. Strong resources, follow-through, caring relationships, and social-emotional environments continue to be protective factors in supporting our children. Excitement emerged as distance learning shifted to in-person summer camp and hands-on learning, converting our classrooms to summer camp fun.

Find the full 2021 Annual Report here: https://peninsulafamilyservice.org/reports/