Life on Council House Square

First United Methodist Church is helping put parents’ minds at ease about Okmulgee public schools being closed on Fridays this semester. I’ve personally taken part in many discussions about ideas of what could be provided while our schools are closed on Fridays, but Pastor Roland Youngberg and Jeana Robison have brought us a fun, affordable solution!

We are all aware that it’s the budget problems our State is facing that have caused many of our public school districts to consider a four-day week, and nobody is thrilled about it! Once again, however, choosing to complain about the problem and working to find a solution are two different things. Parents who previously did not need supplemental child care now have the challenge of finding child care for just one day a week until school ends for the summer break. I know firsthand that many daycares will charge you a weekly rate even if your child attends for only one day per week. After all, they’ve got to stay in business too! Well, First United Methodist Church is now offering a child care program that runs the same hours as our public schools, 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., at a cost of only $15 per child for the day. If the daily rate is a hardship for you, they do have scholarships. (Don’t be too shy to ask!)

They won’t just be watching your children, but they’ll also be offering fun, engaging activities for them to participate in. Music, crafts, games and tutoring are just a few things your child can look forward to on Fridays. Additionally, the cost includes breakfast, lunch, and a snack for the day too! (I’m thinking about going!) I spoke with Pastor Roland about this program over the past month, and he and the staff are excited to see families sign up for this service. We all know it’s best for organizations to be able to have a plan for what numbers they need to serve – so go to this website now,

http://www.fumcokmulgee.org/page/friday_friends

and register your child!

Pastor Roland also told me that Jeana Robinson has really spearheaded this project, and she’s doing an excellent job at organizing it and getting it off the ground! In addition to parents enrolling their children, the church is also taking donations for meals and scholarships to help fund this effort. I want to challenge our community organizations and other local churches to get behind this effort, and provide funds and volunteers as you’re able. A lot of churches would love to be in a position to offer a program like this, but I hope, instead, you’ll consider offering support, so we make a united effort for the children of our community. Let’s combine our resources and serve together. I love the fact that First United Methodist Church is taking this on, and as a local Pastor, I’ll be offering what support I’m able to give as well!

I’m always encouraged at what I see happening in Okmulgee. The Friday Friends program is another great example of a local citizen and organization stepping up to offer services that truly meet a need in our community! Friday Friends begins today (if you missed it, don’t worry – just go sign up now), and it will have its second scheduled day on January 26th. For the rest of the semester, it will be offered on Fridays whenever Okmulgee Public Schools are closed, except for March 23rd, which is Spring Break. Show your support for this program however you’re able, and if you’re a parent of an Okmulgee Public School child, I hope you’ll have them signed up to participate in this wonderful new program.

Email me anytime at: lifeoncouncilhousesquare@gmail.com

*Additional (and awesome) contributions were made to this article by Kasey Bowers.

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Richard Larabee is an Okmulgee downtown resident. He serves as President of Main Street, and Chairman of The Roger Brooks Okmulgee Task Force Committee under the Chamber of Commerce. He is an Independent Petroleum Landman whose office is located in the McCulloch building across the street from the Grand Old Post Office building in downtown Okmulgee, where OSUIT students just moved in last week! #okmulgeerising

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