Pods in Action: Hyde Park Neighborhood Club

Case Study: A community organization treats students as individuals

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (HPNC) is a small, hyper-local community-based organization that, before the pandemic, provided after-school care and enrichment to children living on the South Side of Chicago. During the pandemic, HPNC created a learning pod for children in grades K-8 to provide parents in the community with childcare and students with online learning support. HPNC staff supervised students’ online learning and provided social experiences that were designed to mimic those that students would experience in school in a normal year.

Key Lessons
  • A community organization that provided after-school programs overcame scheduling challenges and competing parent demands to provide in-person support and enrichment to students in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood when school buildings closed during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020.
  • The organization hopes to provide more structured individual support to students after the pandemic, but faces logistical barriers and, more critically, a shortage of clear funding sources.

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