Switching up HUB

Local youth program adjusting to COVID-19 pandemic


ROCHELLE — Just as school administrators and staff have had to learn and practice different and varying degrees of instruction for this school year, the HUB Project team has also had to put a new program in place for students that will begin Monday.

“We’ve made all support for HUB remote in nature,” director Amy Hayden explained. “During HUB, there is a lot of cross-contamination of class levels between schools, so we felt that this will be the best way to support students at all levels and schools at this time.”

Support for students will range from homework help, math/reading/language development groups, weekly hands-on activities for students and family and food support. Along with providing the education supports to students, weekly activities and snacks will be sent home with in-person learners in the HUB program and deliveries for the remote learners.

“All of our groups will be held remotely but will help to supplement some of the instruction students may be missing or help with instruction in small group settings for math, reading or language development through appointments with teachers online,” Hayden said.

Teachers will be available through HUB from Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Teachers will be available online through Seesaw for grades kindergarten through fifth and Google Classroom for students in grades sixth through eighth.

“We will provide hands-on activity for every HUB family each week,” Hayden said. “We’ve also partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to provide what we call a 'five-course meal' for remote-learners.”

Every Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m., there will be a food distribution in the east parking lot at Rochelle Middle School for all Rochelle elementary and high school district remote learners. The HUB Project, which receives funding through grant money, has used some of the funds already this year to purchase a thermal camera and plans to purchase a Zoom subscription that will help the district’s efforts with educating students differently this year.

“Our goal is to support our families through activities and food support as needed – we’re taking a multi-faceted approach to support them at this time,” Hayden explained.

Hayden added that the HUB program has been successful in part thanks to local partnerships with groups such as the Flagg-Rochelle Public Library, HOPE, the Ogle County Education Cooperative, Sinnissippi Centers and the Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District, just to name a few.

"With the unknown nature of what school will look like from month-to-month, we hope to create a HUB program that provides enrichment and learning opportunities at home, over the Internet, and eventually, back in person," Superintendent Jason Harper said. "As a district, we have seen the incredible value of this program for our students and parents. While this year will definitely look different, we hope to have the same impact," Harper added.

Currently there are 253 students enrolled in the HUB Program. However, it is not too late to sign up.

“We typically have a 300-student limit but with services being remote this year, we aren't bound by class sizes, transportation or other restrictions so we plan to serve as many kids as need our help during the pandemic,” Hayden said.

Parents who would like to enroll students in the HUB Program may do so by contacting Hayden at 815-562-4520, or site coordinators Seth Gittleson at RMS (815-562-7997), Roxanna Contreras at Central School (815-562-8251) or Bre Baiocco at Lincoln (815) 562-4520 or May School (815-562-6331).