Club Oak Park replaces AM/PM program

Extended care program offered for 2018-19 school year

Club Oak Park, a self-described “extended care program” focused on enriching students from the three elementary schools and Medea Creek Middle School, has opened for the 2018-19 school year.

According to the Club Oak Park website, the features of the before-and-after school program include both structured and unstructured opportunities for students to build social and emotional skills, daily hands-on activities, different scheduling options, and more. The staff is trained in a multitude of areas including child development, conflict resolution, peer communication strategies, supporting students with special needs, academic content to support homework completion, first aid and CPR, team building and social and emotional development of children.

“The school district had wanted to provide this service to the community for some time. One need that the school district had identified was that an increasing number of parents needed child care for their children, but due to space limitations, not all families were able to secure care,” Director of Extended Care Sarah Ahl wrote to the Talon.

The Oak Hills, Red Oak and Brookside clubs are centered around “enrichment, exploration and discovery,” while the club at Medea focuses on age-appropriate activities and homework support. Before school hours run from 6:45 to 8:30 a.m. and after school hours end at 6:30 p.m.

“[On] a typical day I help with homework for the first hour or hour and a half of my shift and then for the rest of my shift, or however long I have left after everyone’s done with homework. I hang out with the kids, do crafts and sometimes go play basketball on the blacktop,” junior and Medea club employee Megan Johnson wrote.

According to Ahl, the program has replaced the AM/PM services at the schools.

“The district was interested in offering a program that would accommodate the needs of all families that needed child care while also providing OPUSD students with a supportive, engaging, and caring environment during before-and-after-school hours,” Ahl wrote.