By Bethany Vietmeier
Pools, camps and other summer activities for kids have been closed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many kids without much to do. Detroit native and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis took notice of this and designed a program with his Bus Stops Here Foundation team to keep kids busy and educated during the summer months.
In June, they launched “Check Inn”, a virtual 6-week enrichment program funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund, to connect middle school students to engaging and exciting activities.
“During this unfortunate pandemic, I wanted to give students the opportunity to continue learning and expanding their depth of knowledge. I believe it is important that all children are given experiences to help them go beyond the classroom to create, build and explore,” says Jerome Bettis.
Bettis has done just that by offering a variety of virtual classes taught by renowned instructors, including Matt Smith, an executive producer who creates innovative, high profile content for a variety of networks and through the production company he founded called Revolution Laboratory.
A native of Los Angeles, Smith’s passion for music and pop culture led to a career producing music and entertainment-based television. From the mid 1990’s to today, he produced successful shows for NBC (Weekend Vibe, Showtime at the Apollo), BET (Rap City, The BET Awards and 106 & Park), MTV (Sucker Free), as well as content for other major networks.
Smith is scheduled to teach the group of middle school students about video production and editing for television on Monday, July 13 at 3pm EST.
In addition, to the video production class, students have participated in previous sessions in the subject areas of tech and innovation, art, math, Spanish, entrepreneurship and much more. During each session, the students were also surprised by a celebrity “Check Inn” done by several professional athletes including: The Bus, Aaron Donald, Langston Galloway, Joique Bell, Mason Rudolph and Andre Drummond.
The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation plans to offer another 6-week “Check Inn” session this summer to underserved school children across the country. For more information about The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation or the “Check Inn” program, please visit thebusstopsherefoundation.org.