The Oklahoma City Parks and Recreations Department is offering metro students, enrolled in public or private school virtual learning programs, a place to do their school work and get homework help.
“When we heard that the schools weren’t going to be starting in the traditional fashion this year, we knew that we had to do something to help not only city employees that need to come to work, but also the general public that may not have a place for their children to go that’s safe, nurturing, and productive to the child,” said Rebecca Hall, The Unit Operations Supervisor with OKC Parks and Rec.
The OKC Virtual Academy is open to kindergartners through eight graders from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Students are asked to bring their own technology devices and may use the department’s high-speed internet to do their schoolwork.
Department staff will be there to watch over the children as well as provide help with homework. Program organizers said they’re working with the OKC Police Cadet Academy to eventually help out with schoolwork as well.
After the academy, parents have the option to enroll their child in the After School Kids Club. The program runs from 3:30 6 p.m. and costs $10 a month. The department said they offer snacks, supper, arts and crafts, and activities that provide exercise for the children.
Amid the pandemic, the department said the staff will be following CDC guidelines during the program.
“We have policies and procedures in place so as children move from one area to the other, spaces are sanitized after they’ve left,” said Hall. “We definitely encourage hand washing as well as using hand sanitizer and we also definitely social distance.”
Hall also said that children age six and older will need to wear masks. “We’re kind of following the guidelines and what they’re going to have to do when they do return to school and the school districts are having children wear masks.”
Walk-in registration starts Saturday from 9 a.m.to 12 p.m.
You can find a link to instructions and the paperwork here.
Parks and Rec said it’s hiring more staff to help out with this program and other programs within the department. You can find out more information on that here.