City needs more recreation leaders to keep after-school program going

Amid an unprecedented staff shortage, the City of Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department was recently forced to delay enrollment in one of its after-school programs and is in desperate need of applicants. interested in working with students.

Parks, recreation and public facilities supervisor Karen Packwood said on Thursday that 30 people had received conditional job offers as recreation officers to oversee the city’s PLAY and ASES programs. Registration for the PLAY program was originally scheduled to open in July, but was delayed this week as more employees need to be hired for it to function effectively.

“Like other businesses, we face the challenge of replenishing staff levels, and we hope fun and professional people come together to help us meet this need,” Packwood said.

The PLAY program takes place on school campuses and staff are responsible for maintaining on-site safety, helping children with homework, coordinating daily activities and more, but the PLAY program as well as the ASES programs funded grants were canceled last year due to the pandemic. As the City was unable to offer either of these programs for over a year, many recreation leaders sought work elsewhere.

At the end of May, the Turlock Unified School District and Denair Unified School District alerted the town that the school would resume in the traditional fashion this fall and that the recruitment of part-time recreation leaders had begun.

“The Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department has never encountered a staffing shortage as we know it today,” Packwood said. “… We received about 20 interest cards per week, but we find that many do not follow up on their arrival for their interview or other orientation appointments.” “

Packwood explained that since ASES programs are grant-based, the City has an obligation and responsibility to first fill the Recreation Officer positions for ASES with the funding they receive. While around 50 executives have yet to be hired for both programs to go as planned, Packwood is confident that the ASES programs of Brown, Crowell, Cunningham, Osborn, Wakefield and Turlock Junior High will move forward. The future of the PLAY program depends on hiring a sufficient number of leaders.

PLAY program recreation officials make professional connections with other city staff, school staff and administration, as well as parents who participate in the after-school program, Packwood said, noting that it it is a great place to work. She encouraged people who are energetic, creative, enthusiastic about working with young people and available after school to apply and become recreation leaders.

The PLAY program runs from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Interested persons can submit an interest card to

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