Clay Center shifts focus on bringing in families from underserved areas during pandemic

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Kanawha County Commissioners recently voted to let the Clay Center keep just over $20,000 in unused programming funds this year.

Commissioner Kent Carper says they are non-tax dollars traditionally used from table game funds.

Ever since reopening their doors after COVID-19 temporarily shut them, the Clay Center has been capping off visitation to 50 people indoor at a time.

“We normally see over 20,000 students coming through the door,” said Vice President of marketing and sales for the Clay Center, Morgan Robinson.

“Every day it’s loud and exciting and it’s been so sad for us that we haven’t been seeing those students,” she said

Robinson says they’re now redirecting their money and energy toward virtual activities and bringing in more families this season with the money they didn’t use for the spring field trips.

“Moving forward we are still looking to do that, if we can have field trips later on this school year, however, we’re looking to focus our efforts more on specific families in underserved areas,” she said.

Parents at the Clay Center Friday told 13 News The Clay Center lets them get out of the house.

“It gives us more of a place to play especially for my older one that’s not in the house with the same toys as usual,” said one mother.

Another family said they had driven two hours to visit.

“They can’t have those hands-on learning experiences in the classroom since we are all virtual learning but they can still have those here at the center,” said Robinson.

The Clay Center is free, and open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

A reservation online is needed beforehand.

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