As did many things, programs at the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center went on pause last March because of complications with the pandemic. Now, officials are looking at how to not only bring back student programs, but make sure they can also make up for time lost.
Diane Ford, co-director of the center, said the move was beneficial because it allowed them to sit idly this past year and hone in on their next steps, without worrying about costs and grant funding.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Ford said the program did virtual sessions with their students, but she felt like it wasn’t the same as the hands-on experience they usually serve.
“Doing a virtual session, it didn’t feel like we were making that much progress,” Ford said. “We did a couple and decided to just wait until we could get back to what we do best.”
With the time lost, Ford is planning how to ensure that the students involved are still on par with previous groups. To do so they plan to “double up” and catch everyone up in one year while covering twice as many topics as before.
According to their website, the nonprofit works to help students gain an objective understanding of the issues that face their community, state, and nation; to recognize the vital role of government, and to embrace the principles of civility, cooperation, and compromise.
Ford hopes to cover different topics and areas during the new year like COVID-19 and how it affected the community among others.
Since they partner with the different schools in the area, center officials are waiting for the schools to announce their guidelines for the year before setting any plans in motion.
Currently, Ford hopes to start accepting applications in August and programming in September.