We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloe Sherwood and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chloe, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In the height of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many children’s programs were forced to adapt to an online format to ensure the safety of the staff and kids. In March of last year, my aftercare program that I coordinated at a school in Southern California was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a rocky time where schools, businesses, and extracurricular activities were having to adapt and overcome the challenges that the world was and still is facing. Over the summer I was a part of a summer camp that was completely online. Being a part of making this drastic transition of platform was extremely eye opening to me. While many people struggle to use the online platform as a way to educate and aid children in their learning, I saw it as a brand new opportunity that has yet to be explored to its fullest. After extensive hours preparing for teaching my summer course and being with the children everyday, I had the confidence that I could take my aftercare program online and continue to better children’s education and give opportunities to bond and socialize in such unprecedented circumstances.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am most excited to embark on this journey into the virtual world of aftercare because I have heard many people express how difficult virtual learning has been for their children and families. While I applaud every teacher, professor, and other educational professionals in attempting to adapt to whatever online model has been adopted in their schools I know that some have struggled more than others. I have heard that they feel they cannot connect with their students, are just lecturing the material to them, or are just not well prepared for the change in teaching method. However, I have been inspired by this change in venue for teaching because I now can teach children all over the country, allow them to connect with other children from different schools, and give them a chance at an engaging and interactive education when most interactive things have been made difficult. Making this choice to build this online program was not easy and certainly took a lot of brainstorming and preparation to make sure I was adequately prepared for all my programs. I had to gather materials that would still work through a Zoom meeting, test out different interactive websites and games to help children with homework or subjects they had trouble with, and make sure logging on to my classes was an easy process for kids of all ages to be able to do on their own. Thankfully I had a lot of help from loved ones and friends to learn about the tools I had access to in order to overcome these challenges. In my process of creating Virtual Learners Aftercare I learned that even when challenges arise there is something out there whether it be a tool, website, advice from a friend or coworker, or even just a lot of internet research that can help you overcome it. The completed product of all the time and hard work is well worth it. Everyday when I log into my classes and see the children’s smiling faces eager to learn and have fun I know that I have done my job well.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite places to take friends is to miniature golf at Sherman Oaks Castle Park. My friends and I always have a blast doing one of their three golf courses and then spending time inside playing their arcade games. A trip to Disneyland would be in order especially if they have never been to the happiest place on Earth. For a night out on the town Clifton’s Republic in Downtown LA is always a fun way to spend a night dancing and enjoying some drinks with friends. Some of my favorite places to take my friends to eat would be Urban Plates in Pasadena or any of the Veggie Grill locations. Urban Plates is a very nice dining experience with a lot of different food options and amazing desserts. Veggie Grill is another tasty option and extremely nice for a Vegetarian like me to have a whole menu of food to pick from when ordering. Another nice place to walk around and enjoy would be City Walk. There are so many fun stores to visit up there and just walking along the walkway while enjoying the atmosphere is a great way to spend an evening. Lastly, a trip to the beach would be in order. I really enjoy going to Santa Monica Pier for a nice stroll. The walkway along the beach at Manhattan Beach is also lovely. There is the amazing Zuma Canyon Trail near the beach in Malibu where you can go on a nice hike with the dogs and enjoy the gorgeous view.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to all of my students throughout the years. All the children that I have had the opportunity to work with have brought me so much joy and taught me so many things. When I was working in the school it was so encouraging to know that everyday when I was going to work that I had the opportunity to help my students learn, socialize, and just have a fun school experience. To be able to translate this to the students that I now have virtually is so exciting and makes me love the work that I do even more.

Website: https://www.vlakids.net
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-sherwood
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VirtualLearnersAftercare/

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