Earlier this week, the teacher's strike which affected hundreds of thousands of students and their families across the region came to an end with a negotiated settlement between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles.
All parties were relieved to see students and teachers were able to return to their classrooms. And while the effects of the strike were a disruption to many across our region, families received a crucial assist from the many parks and libraries that adjusted staffing and programming to help provide a safe, constructive place for students to spend the day.
One such site was Chatsworth Park South which hosted, fed, and provided programming for dozens of students throughout the course of the strike. The Recreation Director for Chatsworth Park South, Jasmine Dowlatashi, had this to say about their experience during the strike:
"We hosted as many as 62 kids at our park for the 6 days of the strike. The first 4 days we had to keep them indoors for the entire time due to inclement weather. My amazing staff Summer, Arian, Thomas, Marisol, Clarissa, and Abbey must really be commended for keeping the kids safe, happy, and busy with group games and sports. We made so many great crafts like tie dyed shirts, beaded necklaces, and bracelets. We also cooked with the kids daily making things like cupcakes, cookies, flan, pancakes and more. We made snow, and slime. We also fed the kids lunch daily. On the last two days when the rain let up, we were finally able to go out and explore our gorgeous park and went on some magical hikes together. At the end we are just doing our job which is to support the community.
On Wednesday, January 23 after the strike ended, it was so quite and empty when we came to work. We made so many little friends and we miss them already. We’re happy we could help our community in its time of need and we thank all the parents who donated food and items to us. We are always here and offer camps during all school breaks and look forward to seeing our young friends again."
This is one story that reflects what was happening in parks and libraries across Los Angeles. We are very grateful to our excellent parks and library employees for stepping up to help families. This recent episode serves as further proof of the importance of these facilities in assisting our communities especially during times of stress and difficulty.
If you would like to support our libraries and parks, please do so by supporting the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the LA Parks Foundation.