When school starts, so does the Latch Key program | NevadaAppeal.com

When school starts, so does the Latch Key program

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

School begins Monday in Carson City. With this event comes widespread need for organized activities these youths can engage in after classes are over.

The city’s Latch Key program this year, however, has limited openings because of staff constraints. Fritsch Elementary School’s program, for example, has a waiting list and is considered full because the multipurpose room on that campus is too small to hold more than 55 children.

“The Latch Key program assists the working parent so they do not have to worry about their child after school,” said Barbara Singer, the city’s recreation program manager. “More staff is needed to accommodate the growing demand.”

There are several part-time job openings for recreation aides to work with the children in the Latch Key program. People who are at least 16 who can work from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays are encouraged to apply for these part-time positions.

Contact Carson City’s Human Resources Division at 887-2103 for details about the job openings.

Staffing was also the reason behind cancellation of the midday Kinder program. Potential part time employees with adequate early childhood education training couldn’t be recruited this year, Singer said.

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The city’s Latch Key program was started in 1985 by Singer. She was prompted to fill this need in the community after finding out that workplace productivity plummeted in the United States between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m.

The reason? Parents were preoccupied worrying about what their children were doing and finding it hard to concentrate on their work, she said.

Then-principal of Fremont Elementary School Jim Parry was the first school administrator in the district to allow this type of after-school program on his campus. Over time, other parents around the city wanted to put their children in this type of program, Singer remembered.

Latch Key is designed to provide elementary-aged children with creative activities and sense of structure while their parents are at work, with such offerings as assistance doing homework, arts and crafts, and sports and games.

Call the recreation department at 887-2290 for information about the Latch Key program.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.