Parents react to latest after-school program in Norfolk

Norfolk officials have presented their latest “Schools Out Afternoon Recreation” program to the city council for this school year, but it comes at a price.

NORFOLK, Va. — School is back, which means children in Hampton Roads are dependent on after-school programs.

Norfolk City Recreation, Parks & Open Space (RPOS), in conjunction with Norfolk City Council, is introducing a new program called “Afternoon recess at school” or UP

It aims to provide students with a place to engage in physical and social activities, as well as educational sessions, while their parents are still at work.

The presentation says the program fee would cost $80 per month for students in grades six through eight. It would cost even more for K-5 students at $160 per month.

Leisure centers participating in this program include:

  • Bayview Recreation Center
  • Berkley Community Center
  • Carrefour Community Center
  • Fairlawn Recreation Center
  • Huntersville Community Center
  • Norview Community Center
  • Sherwood Forest Community Center
  • Tarrallton Community Center
  • Titustown Recreation Center

For mother-of-two Natasha Boone, she says she considered SOAR as an option for her children, but she says the outlays are too high.

“I feel like the prices are ridiculous at a time like this when childcare is needed and that’s one of the big things about us getting back to work and reopening the world, c It’s something we need,” Boone said.

A single working mother with a child on the autism spectrum, she says she already faces many challenges. She feels these prices deter her from giving her children the care they need.

“At the end of the day, it’s a pandemic and some of us need that money for other things, like putting food on the table,” Boone said.

Another frustration expressed by Boone is the lack of programs available to students before the start of the school day, especially for parents who work early. RPOS said it does not offer hours before school due to a staff shortage.

Click on here to register or learn more about the program.

Editor’s Note: The above video is archived as of September 6, 2021.