“It keeps a lot of kids from just being at home,” Students being watched by organizations during Oklahoma teacher walkout

OKLAHOMA CITY - Several programs across the state of Oklahoma are watching students while their teachers rally at the capitol.

After the OEA announced it was planning a teacher walkout, several groups stepped in to say they would help watch students whose parents were either at the capitol or at work.

"When school's out, club is in," said Jane Sutter, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club.

The Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County made the decision early on to extend hours for its members during the walkout.

"During those break times, we're here from 7:30 in the morning till 7 at night," Sutter said.

Organizers said they expected about 300 kids at the club's main location.

"Our board has made a commitment to be here and be open all day for our club members throughout the teacher walkout," Sutter said.

The move was a relief for parents and students.

"It keeps a lot of kids from just being at home, just doing nothing sitting around all day while the strike is happening," said Anthony Little Page-Buggs.

Students at the clubs told us they understand why teachers are walking out.

"They are walking out because they are not being paid much," said 8-year-old Riley Littrell.

"My mom's a teacher. My stepdad's a teacher," Little Page-Buggs said.

He said, despite being out of the classroom, he believes he is still learning something from his teachers.

"I feel like they deserve just a lot more than what they're getting," he said.

While the kids are having fun building things and playing games, they said they want to return to a fully-funded classroom and teachers with better pay.

"I still want them to earn $300,000," Littrell said.

"Textbooks falling apart, you have desks that aren't big enough for people to sit in, air conditioning that doesn't work," he said.

Staff at the organization said they can take 50 additional students who are not club members. Parents should just give the main office a call beforehand.