The kids are in their pajamas, peanut butter smeared in their hair. On my refrigerator the words "Feed the Piggy!" are scrawled in black sharpie and grape jelly.
(shakes fist) Why, teachers? Why????!!
OK, no, not really. All joking aside, I know I'm really lucky to be able to stay home with my kids with a reasonably full refrigerator during the strike. They've probably played a little too much Katamari on the X-box, but that's on me.
So what's the update for today? The teacher's union and the school district were scheduled to bargain all day today, but I have not yet heard if that has taken place. (Bargaining scheduled to begin at 1:30 yesterday afternoon lasted only from 4-5 pm, with district representatives unavailable until 4.)
Teachers and supporters (including lots of parents and kids) rallied outside the Central Administration Building this morning. A big rally is scheduled to begin in just a few minutes at Wright Park.
At 1:30, district and union lawyers will meet in court for a hearing to review compliance with Wednesday's restraining order, which was intended to order teachers back to work. Teacher's voted instead by a 93% majority to remain on strike.
Whether you're just going a little bit stir crazy or you're wondering how you are going to feed your kids today, the community has stepped up with some programs to help a mama out:
- Metro Parks is offering free drop in recreational activities at several community centers. Includes free open swim at the Centre at Norpoint, during regularly scheduled open swim times (4-5:30 today, Friday 9/16) Read the details. Metro Parks is also offering a temporary all-day day camp at Titlow Park, for $35 a day. Sounds like fun. Registration available on site.
- The Boys & Girls Club of the South Puget Sound has space available at all four locations for an extended-hours program which includes food. Membership available on a very affordable sliding scale, and club directors will work with families who aren't able to pay the fee right now. They never want to turn away a family for inability to pay.
- The YMCA is offering childcare at their Morgan Family branch. No additional fee for kids already enrolled in the Y's after school program at their Tacoma school. $35 a day for everyone else. Financial assistance available but strict income limits apply. Contact the Y for details.
- For families needing extra food assistance during this difficult time, a list of food banks by zip code is available here. Teachers have been collecting donations for the local food banks during picketing this week.