NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a worry for so many families: Parents must work while their children stay home for remote learning.

A new program in Westchester is easing minds and safeguarding young students, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday.

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Remote learning is becoming more structured, less lonely and far less worrisome for families thanks to 15 remote learning centers across the county.

“It’s been wonderful. It’s a safe place, it gives me the peace of mind to focus on my patients. I do have COVID patients currently, as I speak to you,” said registered nurse Ama Sakyi, of Yonkers.

Sakyi’s daughter attends the remote learning center at the YMCA New Rochelle.

Students are supervised while they learn, so parents can work and feel confident the kids are OK.

“The mother of that child has to be able to work and has a job, gainfully employed, contributes to the economy,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Schools: The New Normal

The county steered $1.2 million in federal COVID-19 relief to the center and monitors everything from safety protocols to the availability of healthy snacks and meals.

The program also provides “brain breaks,” physical activity for kids who sit in front of screens for hours at a time.

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“We get them to the gym, we get the to the yoga studio and we try to give them the exercise that they’re missing,” said Jennifer Ryan Safsel, CEO of YMCA New Rochelle.

Terry Clements, a county legislator, who is also a teacher, has one of her students learning remotely at The Y.

“They make sure that the student is there, they know her schedule. They support her to make sure she gets on when she’s supposed to see me live,” said Clements.

As the coronavirus pandemic threatens to drag on, there’s concern about funding these centers in 2021.

“We will look at state revenues, but we will also push our federal partners to do what they should do,” said State. Sen. Shelley Mayer.

For now, when it comes to remote learning, students say it’s fun to stay at the YMCA.

For more information on the program, parents can email


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