L.A. County Seeks to Fill Void Left by Teachers Strike

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Community programming at Los Angeles County parks will be expanded and many local museums will offer free admission to cover the needs of families scrambling to keep their kids busy and learning during the teachers strike, under action taken today by the Board of Supervisors. 

Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended providing programming at six community regional parks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on strike days for up to 30 days, noting that only one-third of affected students were on LAUSD campuses during the first day of the strike.

``As a lifelong supporter of working women and men, and as a former labor secretary (in the Obama administration), I stand with my sisters and brothers who are out on the picket line, asking only for what is fair and best for their students,'' Solis said. 

``L.A. County will do what we can to support our teachers, our students and our parents by identifying learning opportunities for students during the duration of this strike. ''The county will mobilize to create and publicize educational programs and activities for LAUSD students and parents, including expanding free snack programs at county parks and libraries. 

Parks offering special programming include:

-- Jesse Owens Community Regional Park, 9651 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles;

-- Ted Watkins Memorial Park, 1335 E. 103 St., Los Angeles;

-- Victoria Community Regional Park, 419 E. 192 St., Carson;

-- Franklin D. Roosevelt Park, 7600 Graham Ave., Los Angeles;

-- El Cariso Community Regional Park, 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar; and

-- Belvedere Community Regional Park, 4914 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles.

``We understand the challenges many households and children are facing as the strike continues,'' said John Wicker, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. 

``The selected county parks will provide children with an opportunity to spend quality time in a safe environment.''

The Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, the La Brea Tar Pits Museum and the William S. Hart Museum will offer free admission and activities between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on strike days. The L.A. Zoo will offer students free admission on strike days and a ``Community Safari Day'' program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. 

The Petersen Automotive Museum will offer free admission to LAUSD students through Feb. 2nd, regardless of whether the strike continues. 

Admission and parking will also be waived for LAUSD students and their guardians from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on strike days at Descanso Gardens, the Arboretum, and the South Coast Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes and the Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. Free admission is also being offered at the Museum of Tolerance.

LAUSD students can ride free from 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. on strike days on all LA Metro buses, light-rail and subway lines.

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