Emily K Center Coronavirus Updates and Resources

March 12, 2020

The Emily K Center is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving conditions related to COVID-19/Coronavirus. We will base our guidance and decision-making on the best-available information from the CDC, the Health Department, and Durham Public Schools.
Looking for our COVID-19 resources list? Please click here.

Current Facility Operating Hours

Our facility is open on a limited basis this summer. For the most up-to-date information on when we will have staff onsite, please view our calendar here. It is strongly recommended that you call 919-680-0308 to confirm that someone will be onsite before you plan a visit. Masks are required at all times on premises.

Updated 05.17.2021

The Emily K Center is looking forward to a return to more consistent in-person operations and programming beginning in the fall of 2021. We will continue to look to the Centers for Disease Control and our statewide and local leadership for guidelines for safe assembly in both indoor and outdoor spaces, and we will continue to implement safety precautions in a manner that maximizes student and staff safety when operating in person. This means that procedures, schedules, and spaces may look different as we transition more fully onsite. While we can say with confidence that our intent is to return to in-person programming and operations, we are not currently planning to hold in-person large group events that would require staff, students or families to be in close proximity to one another in closed spaces throughout the fall semester. We will continue to provide virtual methods for addressing larger group audiences until we can have assurances that gathering in large crowds poses no increased health or safety risks. We will provide an update to our plan for in-person operations at the end of July.

Updated 04.04.2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Emily K Center facility is open in a very limited capacity. As of April 5, 2021, the Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. We still strongly encourage you to call ahead before you visit, as most staff members remain in a remote capacity. The Center’s phone number is 919-680-0308.

Updated 8.13.2020

Due to the current state of COVID-19 community spread, and based on the recommendations of the CDC and local health experts, all Emily K Center programming will take place virtually for the fall 2020 semester. During this unique phase of virtual programming, we are committed to implementing programs with student, staff and community safety and student needs at the forefront. We are embracing the importance of flexibility with regard to adjusting program models and priorities, prioritizing the socio-emotional, digital and basic needs of students, and maintaining strong connections with community partners. Please see the notes below for more information on each of our programs.

Pioneer Scholars

Program Kick-off (Virtual via Zoom)
Monday, August 24, 5:30-7:00 p.m. for elementary students (2nd-5th grades)
Tuesday, August 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. for middle school students (6th-8th grades)

Supply Distribution: Thursday, August 13, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

First Day of Programming: Tuesday, September 8

Scholars to College

Program Kick-off (Virtual via Zoom) 
Tuesday, August 18th, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. via Zoom, grades 10, 11, and 12

First Day of Programming: Curriculum Nights will begin the week of August 24th 
Meeting day and time for each cohort TBD based on survey responses

Game Plan: College

Virtual Workshops
Schedule to be posted on the Game Plan: College webpage, bi-weekly newsletter and Instagram (@gameplancollege)

Advising: Students can sign up for a 1:1 advising session on the Game Plan: College webpage

Updated 5.11.2020

After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel both our basketball and drama camps, as the health and well-being of our campers and staff is of the utmost importance to us. We look forward to hosting our campers each summer and will certainly miss the chance to connect with them.

Registered campers have already received an email with refund information. If you did not receive this email or if you have any additional questions, please write to us at

Updated 3.25.2020

In keeping with the Durham “stay at home” order announced earlier today, the Emily K Center will be closed to all staff, students, and visitors beginning on Thursday, March 26th. Emily K Center staff members have all transitioned to remote work and can be reached through e-mail or by phone. Program directors have been and will continue to be in touch with their students regarding program-specific support.

Due to the building closure, applications for Pioneer Scholars or Scholars to College may now be submitted via mail or e-mail only.  

Pioneer Scholars
Mail applications to:
Emily K Center
Att: Nephitearya Bailey
904 W. Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701

E-mail applications to:
Kaitlyn Gray at

Scholars to College
Mail applications to:
Emily K Center
Att: Camille Wilson
904 W. Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701

E-mail applications to:
Allison Noel at 

Updated 3.23.2020

The Center has worked to compile a list of resources that may be useful for students and families. To view, please click here. Know of another great resources that is not included? Please e-mail and let us know.

Updated 3.18.2020

After much consideration, and in keeping with the guidelines issued by the CDC, the Emily K Center Mother’s Day Ball will not be held on Saturday, May 2, 2020. The health and well-being of our students, supporters, staff, and volunteers is of the utmost importance to us, and we could not in good conscience move forward with the event, no matter how much we may wish we could. 

The Mother’s Day Ball is an incredibly important event for the Center, and we are grateful for your support. We are working hard to figure out our next steps, be it a virtual event or a new event date, and we look forward to sharing more details as soon as they are available. For more information on the Ball, please click here

Updated 3.16.2020

We understand that students applying to Pioneer Scholars and Scholars to College will not be able to access supporting documents for their applications due to school closures. The original deadlines for applications were Thursday, March 19th (Scholars to College) and Friday, March 20th (Pioneer Scholars). 

However, due to school and community closures, late applications will not be penalized. The Center plans to be open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. from Monday, March 16th – Friday to March 27th for application drop-off onlyBefore coming to the Center, please call 919-680-0308 to check for last-minute changes to this schedule. Please do not drop-off an application if you or anyone in your household is currently sick. For more information related to applications, please click here for Pioneer Scholars and here for Scholars to College. 

Updated 3.13.2020

The Emily K Center has made the difficult decision to suspend all Center programming from Monday, March 16th through Saturday, March 28th. This is not a decision we take lightly, but it is our ultimate goal to safeguard the health and well-being of our students, families, staff, and volunteers. Should we need to prolong our program cancellation, we will provide updated information via this website and through direct communications to families, volunteers, and other key stakeholders as soon as decisions are made.

In addition to our student-focused programs, events and meetings scheduled to be held at the Center by our Facility Partners will also be canceled during this time frame. Please reach out to your event organizer or organization for more details. 

At this time, Emily K Center staff members will still be available via usual means of communication. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. 

Thank you for your support, understanding, and patience during these unprecedented times.

Updated 3.12.2020

At this time, several events have been canceled or postponed; this includes Career Exploration Night planned for March 11 (tentatively postponed until 4/29/2020) and our College Expo (canceled). 

For Students and Families

The health of our students is of our utmost concern. We are encouraging and reinforcing:

We ask that you please keep children home if they are sick, and allow them to return to the Center only after they have been symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of medication (for fever, vomiting, diarrhea).  We as staff are disinfecting surfaces multiple times per day, and we have ensured that our cleaning service is using appropriate agents and protocols.

Coronavirus Resources