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City to keep all-day youth programs going through fall

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Fall may feel a lot like summer for thousands of Albuquerque children.

The city of Albuquerque says it will offer something similar to its all-day summer recreational youth programs through December to help families trying to navigate the unusual schooling schedule planned for fall.

Albuquerque Public Schools currently intends to start the school year with entirely remote learning. Per state direction, it would start a hybrid educational model after Labor Day, with students beginning to cycle weekly between on-campus instruction and remote learning.

To accommodate working families, the city says it will run its community center-based education and recreation program from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays through the fall semester, though officials say details may change based on demand and APS scheduling adjustments.

The program is open to kids in kindergarten through eighth grade, and participants get lunch and dinner. Officials say they will work with APS to support its “distance learning” component, though Mayor Tim Keller said the program has other benefits.

“We want the child engaged – we want them to be learning. … Even if it is not the most curriculum-based learning, even if it’s our traditional summer-type learning – which is really about recreation and so forth – that is very, very important,” he said Thursday. “It also enables that parent to be able to work.”

Families interested in the city programs must sign up for a lottery by Aug. 14 at play.cabq.gov.

The city will notify the families selected through the lottery on Aug. 17 and give them until Aug. 21 to register for programs that begin Aug. 24.

Keller said costs are unknown because the city is still gauging demand, but that it will use its federal coronavirus relief money, and possibly funding partnerships with APS and Bernalillo County.

The city is also offering other programming into at least part of the fall, including tennis lessons and its “Outdoor Field School.”

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