TULSA -- With a number of school districts closing next week for the teacher walkout, some companies are offering an alternative to childcare for employees.
Leslie Araskog works for ConsumerAffairs, a web-based company that employs more than 150 employees in Tulsa. Her child is out of school next week for the teacher walkout.
Araskog said, “I was really stressing. We were going to have to use multiple family members. One family member was actually going to drive in from Minnesota and stay a few extra days just to help us so that we were not having to shuffle kids around all over town and paying extra money that we would have to for childcare.”
Eric Jenkins, the chief operating officer, said, “This is a very disruptive thing for our employees, so we thought it would be very helpful to provide some help for them as our teachers do and have decided to walk out.”
So, the company has decided to transform a vacant space into a makeshift school.
Araskog said, “We are very lucky that ConsumerAffairs has decided to allow us to bring our children to work into a very safe environment that they will be able to continue studying and their curriculum and things like that.”
Employees’ kids will bring their textbooks and homework, and teachers will be available to help kids continue education.
Araskog explained, “My biggest concern was to make sure that the kids were still continuing their reading, math, social studies and not lose track of where they are, as well as prepare for more state testing questions.”
ConsumerAffairs is prepared for the next three-weeks. Jenkins said, “We set that as sort of an expectation for our employees. If it continues to go longer, we’ll reevaluate and decide if we provide this resource further.”
But not all parents’ companies are offering as service like this. Church and organizations are also stepping up.
Churches like Bethany Christian Church partnering with Fellowship Lutheran Church are offering childcare. First United Methodist is actually opening up its kitchen for students to get the meals they would normally get at school.
Organizations like the six Tulsa metro Boys And Girls Clubs and Sylvan Learning Of Tulsa will offer a place for students to go and stay active and engaged. The Tulsa Area United Way is also coordinating child-care, meal-sites, and out-of-school learning opportunities.
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