How ‘before and after’ school programs are adjusting amidst the pandemic

A look at ‘before and after school’ programs ahead of the school year
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 3:19 PM PDT
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Carson City, Nev. (KOLO) -With schools reopening in the fall, Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open space is stepping up as an important community asset.

Andrew Menendez is the youth program supervisor.

"What we're really here for is to provide an amazing program for the kids and also help out the parents that need to go back to work and to let them know their kids can still have a fun time at camp," explained Menendez. "Or at the before/after school programs so they don't have to stay at home."

Kids participating in Carson City's Parks, Recreation and Open Space programs.
Kids participating in Carson City's Parks, Recreation and Open Space programs.(KOLO)

Menendez said there was a hesitancy to re-open this summer after programs were cut early this year due to COVID concerns.

“I think some of the challenges we had was figuring out what activities we could offer the kids so they could still have a great summer program to go through,” said Menendez.

Dan Earp is the recreation superintendent.

Earp said for now the programs are operating at half capacity.

“I was nervous about it,” added Earp. “With all the regulations and things we were going to have to put in place to make sure we were on top of it.”

Contact sports and field trips were some of the few activities eliminated, while temperature checks, masks and social distancing guidelines were added.

“They’ve been great. Every time I walk into the community center, the kids have no issues,” said Earp. " They’re wearing their masks. I think they’ve gotten use to it.”

There’s also another option for working parents looking to keep kids at home for the time being.

An all day program is in the works for students in virtual learning.

“There’s still a lot of things to figure out so we’re not exactly how we’re going to run it or organize it,” said Menendez. “We’re working on a way to make sure there is a kids program in different ways whereas parents who aren’t able to stay at home and be with their kids to do schoolwork.”

Earp said while their summer programs provide a small glimpse of what the school year could look like., there’s still plenty of work to be done.

“Its a community effort, we really want to provide these services for the community,” explained Earp. “We listen to parents who call us, watching the school board meetings where we learn what are the needs of the community. What are the concerns of parents and others. What’s not being offered and if so how can we do it?

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