OKLAHOMA CITY - With the potential teacher walkout just weeks away, many parents are wondering where their kids will go if schools close.
"To be clear, the schools will be completely closed," said Oklahoma City Public Schools Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kaye. "Children will not be attending school, and we will not be providing any care for children during the teacher walkout."
As teachers across the state plan to walk out April 2 to demand a pay increase, parents are wondering what's going to happen to their kids.
"Teachers don't want to walk out," Kaye said. "Teachers just want to be paid fairly."
Oklahoma City Public Schools alerted parents this week about its plan to make sure kids will be able to eat, even if the schools are closed.
"The way we planned to deliver meals for the first week of a potential walkout would be that our school buses will basically act as rolling feeding sites," Kaye said. "So, they will pick up meals that are made by our school nutrition staff."
Each bus will cover three sites to feed about 40,000 students.
"We're actually working with the Regional Food Bank to see if the Regional Food Bank and public schools are working together to try to create a feeding plan," said Melinda McMillan Miller with the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department.
Staff with the city said they want to offer parents a safe place to send their kids during the walkout.
"We have nine recreational centers across the city. We decided to go ahead and open our doors very early for working parents to feel comfortable dropping their children off at the centers," McMillan Miller said. "We just knew we needed to help out."
They're not the only ones; the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Mid- Del Public Schools, the Boys and Girls Club and other organizations are stepping in to help.
"Immediately, when we heard about a potential walkout plans, we stated our Memorial Park Boys and Girls Club would be open 7:30 in the morning to 7 at night," said Jane Sutter, CEO of Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City.
The club will provide services for its members, but it does come at a cost. But, staff members said it is worth it in this time of need.
"It would be an additional expense that's not in our budget," Sutter said. "I have to worry a little bit about that, as the leader of this organization, but our Boys and Girls Club Board is a 100 percent behind being here for the kids."
There are five locations in the Mid-Del area that will be set up to distribute breakfast and lunch for any child 18 years old or younger during a work stoppage. The locations are as follows:
- Mid-Del Schools Administration Building: 7217 SE 15th Street in Midwest City
- Cornerstone Church: Corner of S.E. 15th Street and S. Post Road in Midwest City
- Eastpointe Community Church: 6801 S. Anderson Road in Oklahoma City
- Sunnylane Family Church: 4221 S.E. 41st Street in Del City
- Sunny Lane United Methodist Church: 2020 S. Sunnylane in Del City
Breakfast will be served from 9 to 10:30 a.m, while lunch will be served from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Any food items that have been donated/collected will be distributed at those sites, as well.