Post Content

City Leadership Says More Can be Done to Open Access to Summer Camps

The city is rationing out spots in summer camp programs reopening soon, but even some in the city’s leadership are unclear on why space will be so limited while the city has a preponderance of unused space and resources.

“Summer camp programs are starting,” said Jim Spengler, director of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities in a recent joint meeting between the City Council and the School Board. “They are aimed at essential workers and will expand beyond essential workers based on enrollment.”

But Mayor Justin Wilson noted that with Phase 3 going into effect next week, many jobs are going to start expecting those employees to come back. With many summer camps canceled, those parents will be left without options for childcare programs.

“If that happens will expect to see a whole crunch of workers going back to work,” Wilson said. “To the extent that we have space, we can be essential in helping out frontline workers go back to the workspace. We have a lot of unused space, so I want us to explore our options before we say ‘we can’t use that capacity.'”

Wilson said staff needs to look at school facilities and city facilities to see what kind of space is available to be used for summer programming.

“It seems like we should be looking for every opportunity we can in this environment,” Wilson said. “I’m constantly hearing from parents who are very concerned about their ability to go back to work, particularly when bosses start to expect it. I feel like we can be part of that solution, and there’s money available for us to be part of this, but we have to work out the facility side of this.”

There are complications beyond just facility space, however. Spengler said limits with social distancing mean some spaces that aren’t being utilized aren’t viable as summer program spaces.

“As schools are finding with school buses, for example, social distancing really controls how many people you get together more than the aggregate number you’re given by the Governor,” Spengler said. “The other is if we were able to enroll more students, then we have a staffing issue. We don’t have the staff available because we didn’t do normal summer hiring, so we don’t have the staff capacity to expand much beyond where we are right now.”

But city leaders said that with the city still facing high unemployment figures, not having staff shouldn’t be a problem.

“I feel like that’s a solvable problem,” Wilson said. “I’ll be crystal clear, that seems like something we should be able to figure it out. It seems like this is not a normal circumstance and we can find staff, there’s a lot of people looking for jobs.”

“I would echo the mayor’s sentiment,” City Councilman John Chapman said. “This is an extraordinary time, but we do have a number of people looking for opportunities. Capacity is something that we just need to work through. I don’t think it’s something that we stop at and say ‘We can’t do it’ because if we’re vocal about looking for people, I think we’ll get quality people who would be able to run some of our programmings.”

Wilson added that a good place to start would be hiring from canceled summer camp programs.

Staff photo by James Cullum

Recent Stories

A new advocacy group has formed in hopes of returning Alexandria to a district/wards election system. The Communities for Accountable City Council (CACC) describes itself as a non-partisan group of…

For all intents and purposes, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor James Ross isn’t going anywhere. Actually, this fall Ross is starting work as the director of orchestral studies…

Alexandria City Council Member Alyia Gaskins has more than doubled the campaign contributions raised by her opponent Vice Mayor Amy Jackson and triple the amount raised by former real estate…

Of the 96,993 working Alexandrians, 30% of them work from home (30,015 people), according to the US Census. United States Census data collected from 2022 provides a detailed breakdown of…

Unlike our competitors, Well-Paid Maids doesn’t clean your home with harsh chemicals. Instead, we handpick cleaning products rated “safest” by the Environmental Working Group, the leading rating organization regarding product safety.

The reason is threefold.

First, using safe cleaning products ensures toxic chemicals won’t leak into waterways or harm wildlife if disposed of improperly.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

There’s a reason Well-Paid Maids has hundreds of positive reviews from happy clients in the D.C. area.

The home cleaning company pays cleaners — who are W-2 employees — a living wage starting at $24 an hour. Plus, cleaners are offered benefits, including insurance, 24 paid days off a year, 100% employer-paid commuting costs and more.

Lexi Grant, an operations manager at Well-Paid Maids, said it best: “People deserve their work to be respected and recognized. When that happens, you love what you do, and you create the best results.”

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Del Ray Kitchen Confidential Design Tour

Please join us for Del Ray Kitchen Confidential – a walking tour of recently renovated kitchens in Del Ray with the experts who make the magic happen! FA Design Build owner Rob Menefee and Design Consultant Melissa Fielding walk us

Celtic Corridor in Concert at the Lyceum

Billy McComiskey, on button accordion, National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award winner, All-Ireland Award winner, who has played with the Irish groups The Irish Tradition, Trian, and Green Fields of America. Billy’s playing is highly regarded as are his

×

Subscribe to our mailing list