CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The city of Cincinnati is turning another one of its recreation centers into a classroom for remote instruction to get some of the thousands of students who are not yet learning back to school.
Around 3,000 Cincinnati Public School students, at the last estimate, were still not participating in virtual learning.
Mayor John Cranley says opening the Price Hill Rec Center for classes could help keep kids from falling further behind.
“There are a number of children all across the country and in Cincinnati who are not logging on which is a tragedy and could set kids back a generation,” Mayor Cranley said on Tuesday.
City officials say all 23 rec centers will be outfitted with WiFi by the end of the month.
As of now, 300 spots are available at 20 recreation centers across the city for $150 per week.
“We are not just babysitting, we are actually offering young people school day enrichments," Cincinnati Recreation Commission Director Daniel Betts said. "So, outside of the classroom they will get STEM, they’ll get arts and cultural programming as well as sports and recreation activity which we’re known for in this city.”
This program is one Mayor Cranley said he would bet a lot of families don’t even know exists.
“I’m willing to bet a lot of money that a lot of people listening to this right now when it airs on TV later today, that they don’t know that this is even an option,” the mayor said. "You know, we don’t have money for advertising and so we want people to know that this is an option. Call us. We’ll do the best we can to accommodate families.”
CRC officials say they are using the honor system for families to pay what they can to meet the $150 weekly cost.
Mayor Cranley said no family will be turned away and that the city will find the money to get these kids back on track to learning.
On Monday, CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell recommended the district go back to in-person blended learning classes next starting Oct. 12 using a 2-2-1 model.
This model would mean students attend school in-person for two days each week with two days at home and a day of virtual learning with teachers.
Full-time in-person learning was supposed to begin on Oct. 5 but was cut short after Ohio’s COVID-19 heat map showed Hamilton County was back in the red.