A number of county and city programs are being activated to help families with childcare, homework help and meals during the LAUSD strike.
Paige Austin , Patch Staff
LOS ANGELES, CA — Families struggling to find childcare this week during the massive 3-day LAUSD strike shutting down school for more than 420,000 students can turn to the Los Angeles County and city parks programs for some free options including at the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center in Sherman Oaks.
Many Los Angeles families were caught off guard by the strike, which was officially announced Monday. For children to take advantage of many of the free educational events at the LA Zoo and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park and La Brea Tar Pits, a guardian needs to attend with the children – that has made the opportunities inaccessible to many working families. Tuesday’s torrential downpours, which are expected to continue Wednesday, further make it hard for families to find free outdoor activities.
To meet the needs of working families, the county Department of Parks and Recreation will extend the hours of its Every Body Plays program at more than a dozen locations, operating from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The sites will also offer grab- and-go breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Parks have always been safe havens for children to play and thrive when schools are closed. Creating a stress-free place for children to play underscores the vital role parks and our caring staff have in promoting positive youth development,” Norma Edith García-Gonzalez, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement.
The Every Body Plays program is a free, drop-in service for kids age 7 to 17, and features activities including arts and crafts, games and sports.
The locations will be:
- Belvedere Park, 4914 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles;
- City Terrace Park, 1126 N. Hazard Ave, East Los Angeles;
- Obregon Park, 4021 E. First St., Los Angeles;
- Saybrook Park, 6250 E. Northside Drive, East Los Angeles;
- Ruben Salazar Park, 3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles;
- Athens Park, 12603 S. Broadway, Los Angeles;
- Bethune Park, 1244 E. 61st St., Los Angeles;
- Helen Keller Park, 1045 W. 126th St., Los Angeles;
- Jesse Owens Park, 9651 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles;
- Earvin Magic Johnson Park, 905 E. El Segundo Blvd., Los Angeles;
- Roosevelt Park, 7600 Graham Ave., Los Angeles;
- Ted Watkins Park, 1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles;
- Leon H. Washington Park, 8908 S. Maie Ave., Los Angeles;
- Victoria Park, 419 Martin Luther King Jr. St., Carson;
- El Cariso Park, 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar; and
- Crescenta Valley Park, 3901 Dunsmore Ave., Glendale.
The county’s Deane Dana Friendship Nature Center in San Pedro and Stoneview Nature Center in Culver City will both offer extended hours from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, also offering free breakfast and lunch.
Meanwhile, the city Department of Recreation and Parks will offer 21 of its centers as grab-and-go food distribution locations in coordination with the LAUSD. The distribution will be on Tuesday only, providing food for the three-day period, with distribution hours set from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. More information is available online at achieve.lausd.net/schoolupdates.
The city agency will also offer a Special Edition After School Club Program at 30 recreation centers. The free program will be available to students in first- through fifth-grades from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parents can register their children beginning at 1 p.m. Monday.
“Schools are so much more than centers of education — they are a safety net for hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles families,” Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. “We will make sure to do all we can to provide resources needed by the families of our city.”
The program will include assistance with school assignments, recreation activities, lunch, and snacks.
Participating locations will be:
- Baldwin Hills, 5401 Highlight Place, 323-934-0746;
- Chevy Chase, 4165 Chevy Chase Drive, 818-550-1453;
- Delano Park, 15100 Erwin St., Van Nuys, 818-756-8529;
- Echo Park, 1632 Bellevue Ave., 213- 250-3578;
- EXPO Center, 3980 Bill Robertson Lane, Los Angeles, 213-763-0114;
- Fernangeles, 8851 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Sun Valley, 818-767-4171;
- Glassell Park, 3650 Verdugo Road, 323-257-1863;
- Granada Park, 16730 Chatsworth, Granada Hills, 818-363-3556;
- Highland Park, 6150 Piedmont Ave., 213-847-4876;
- Jackie Tatum Harvard, 1535 W. 62nd St., Los Angeles, 323-778-7268;
- Lanark Park, 21816 Lanark St., Canoga Park, 818-883-1503;
- Lincoln Park, 3501 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-275-6955;
- Mason Park, 10500 Mason Ave., Chatsworth, 818-756-6377;
- Normandie Park, 1550 S. Normandie Ave, Los Angeles, 310-328-3689;
- North Hollywood, 11430 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-763-7651;
- Oakwood Park, 767 California Ave., Venice, 310-452-7479;
- Pan Pacific Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-939-8874;
- Poinsettia Park, 7341 Willoughby Ave., Los Angeles, 323-876-8279;
- Ritchie Valens, 10736 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Pacoima, 818-834-5175;
- Robertson Park, 1641 Preuss Road, Los Angeles, 310-278-5383;
- Rosecrans Park, 840 W. 149th St., Gardena, 310-327-3653;
- Ross Snyder, 1501 E. 41st St., Los Angeles, 323-235-5288;
- St Andrews Park, 8701 St. Andrews Place, Los Angeles, 213-485-1751;
- Studio City, 12621 Rye St., Studio City, 818-769-4415;
- Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Blvd., Sunland, 818-352-5282;
- Tarzana Park, 5655 Vanalden Ave., Tarzana, 818-343-5946;
- Valley Plaza Park, 12240 Archwood St., North Hollywood, 818-765-5885;
- Van Nuys Sherman Oaks, 14201 Houston St., Sherman Oaks, 818-756-8131;
- Vineyard Park, 2942 Vineyard Ave, Los Angeles, 323-732-2469; and
- Wilmington Park, 325 N. Neptune Ave., Wilmington, 310-548-7645.
The Los Angeles Zoo is offering free admission for LAUSD students grades K-12, along with a $5 fee for accompanying chaperones. Students must show proof of enrollment with a school ID card, report card, school newsletter, or similar proof of enrollment. Complimentary admission will be offered only on Tuesday through Thursday and tickets must be purchased in person at the LA Zoo box office.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park and La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park will offer free general admission to LAUSD students and chaperones. Free general admission tickets will be available only on site at the museum’s ticket counters.
The LAUSD also has a family hotline that has information and resources to help families prepare for at-home learning and school updates at 213-443- 1300 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
City News Service. Patch Staffer Paige Austin contributed to this report.
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