OKLAHOMA CITY - For parents looking for childcare options in the days to come, local agencies still have room.

Just six guest children showed up to the Memorial Park Boys and Girls Club Tuesday morning, while the Urban League says they have room for about 100 more youngsters. About 175 kids attended camp at Henderson Hills Baptist Church, though, including children with special needs.

Three special education teachers from Edmond are skipping the State Capitol to volunteer their time at the church camp this week, offering a resource that is vital for the families they serve.

Cross Timbers Elementary School teacher Lauren Thapa says she did not plan to have a fully functioning special needs class. For her, it all started with one child.

“I knew one of my students really wanted to be here,” she said, “and I didn’t know if there was going to be an opportunity for him, just because it’s hard to find people to volunteer with students who have special needs.”

When she showed up to Henderson Hills on Monday, however, she discovered she was not the only one. Two teachers from other Edmond schools as well as a dedicated volunteer are now working together to make sure children with special needs maintain the structure they are used to having during the day.

“It’s so awesome that we can change our schedule. We can do whatever needs to be done,” said Thapa. “If one of our students needs a sensory break, we can go to a different room, so it’s been really great just to have that flexibility for our kids.”

So far, though, just three families have registered students with special needs at the Henderson Hills camp. Thapa says they can care for at least six more.

With uncertainty surrounding the length of the walkout, these teachers encourage parents to entrust their kids to the professionals.

“I know it’s scary,” Thapa said, “but we would really love to be able to serve them in that way and help them to just take this time for themselves.”

If you would like to bring your child to one of the available free camps this week, organizations ask that you call and register them ahead of time.

  • Henderson Hills Baptist Church: (405) 341-4639
  • Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City: (405) 424-5243
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County: (405) 521-9292
  • For more childcare options, click here.