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Options available for parents if teachers' strike stretches into September

Teacher Laura Thomas-Atto, centre, and Kids Place Childcare Center will be offering camp should the current teachers’ strike extend into the school year. - KARL YU/The News Bulletin
Teacher Laura Thomas-Atto, centre, and Kids Place Childcare Center will be offering camp should the current teachers’ strike extend into the school year.
— image credit: KARL YU/The News Bulletin

The scheduled Wednesday (Sept. 3) school start isn’t certain given the teachers’ strike, but there are options for parents should the labour dispute spill into September.

The City of Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Environment department offered Camp Firefly at the outset of the strike and will do so again if need be, according to Deborah Beck, city recreation coordinator.

The camp is for children aged five to 12 and Beck said more details will be available next week.

“They can just call to get their name on the interest list,” said Beck. “If there is a strike, [those parents] will be the first ones to be called.”

To get on the interest list, please call parks and rec at 250-756-5200.

Manda Chelmak, program director of Headliners School of Performing Arts, said her school will be offering an Alternative Art Day Camp for children six to 12.

The arts camp would begin Sept. 4 and will offer attendees a chance to take part in drama, games, acting, dancing and music, amongst other things.

“I’m surrounded by a lot of parents and a lot of working parents that pay for my regular programming in the school year and so everyone’s getting scared and overwhelmed and not sure what’s going to happen, so I just kept getting asked [and said], ‘Let’s give it a shot,’” Chelmak said.

Please call 250-585-1811. Space is limited.

4Cats Arts Studio will be offering three- and four-day camps and one-day workshops should the start of the school year be delayed, according to owner Tara Gray.

Children aged five to 12 will be able to try various styles of painting and sculpting.

“Depending on the length of the strike, we will add more camps and workshops as necessary,” said Gray.

Please call 250-933-2424.

Tina Walters Alyward of Kid’s Place Childcare Center said the group daycare has at least four spots available for children six to 12.

Swimming, skating bowling, field trips as well as arts and crafts are some of the activities participants will do.

Please call 250-754-5437.

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