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Neighborhood House, a community center for families living in the West End, will be welcoming kids back to an all-day camp on Monday morning.
“Our doors will be open to families as long as JCPS is closed,” says Jennie Jean Davidson, executive director of Neighborhood House. “We expected to be starting our first week of afterschool programming today after our all-day camp during the summer. Instead, we’re jumping in to offer extra hours of programming that our school-age members need while school is out.”
Approximately 80 kids from kindergarten through 12th grade are enrolled in the Youth Development Program throughout the year; families primarily live in Portland and the surrounding neighborhoods of Shawnee and Russell. Some of these kids will be returning on Monday–in part so that their parents can return to work. Staff reached out to the families of current school-age members to let them know that we will be open. Neighborhood House also expects to see an increase in traffic at their Emergency Food Bank, which provides basic food items to help families stretch their grocery budgets.
“Families rely on us to be a fun and safe environment for their kids to learn, and we will continue to provide that until JCPS reopens,” says Davidson. “Like so many other community organizations, everyone here at Neighborhood House–staff, parents, and the kids themselves–will adapt and support one another.”
Neighborhood House is committed to supporting kids and their families, even in the face of unexpected expenses. The expanded programming means more food, supply, and staff time costs. Families will not pay anything beyond their $25 membership fee for the entire school year. “We know families are taking an economic hit, and we will not ask them to take on another financial burden, even as we face additional business expenses.” Davidson said.
To support Neighborhood House’s expanded youth programming, visit nhky.org/donate. Neighborhood House is also accepting donations of three food items for the Emergency Food Bank: canned meat, spaghetti sauce, and spaghetti noodles.