Bend Park and Recreation is teaming up with the Oregon State University-Cascades, Central Oregon Community College and the Bend-La Pine School District to offer local students scholarships, internships and jobs in the Kids Inc. afterschool program.
The district said Monday it needs approximately 85 people for the program if it intends to grow and maintain quality. But filling those part-time jobs has been difficult.
“Kids Inc has provided aftercare at most Bend elementary schools for more than 30 years and the need for school-age afterschool care has never been higher,” BPRD recreation services director Matt Mercer said in a statement. “Working parents feel this need acutely and we must do more to strengthen and retain the workforce charged with this important after school enrichment activity.”
COCC and OSU-Cascades said a $5,250 scholarship will be available for up to 12 of its students each, starting in the fall of 2022. Participants must be enrolled with at least nine credit hours per term.
On top of that, participating COCC and OSU-Cascades students will be paid as BPRD youth recreation leaders for approximately 20 hours each week. The current salary is $18.38 per hour, BPRD said.
“This program gives students hands-on experience in child care, recreation and leadership while working with one of the community’s most established after-school care programs,” said Jane Reynolds, executive director for financial aid and enrollment, OSU — Cascades.
High school juniors and seniors in the Bend-La Pine School District will have a chance to be in the new Afternoon Recreation Leader Internship. The paid positions will happen in partnership with The Future Center at each high school. The student interns will be able to adjust class schedules to allow them to be paid employees of BPRD and receive school credit as a youth recreation intern.
Bend-La Pine students will be able to choose between 10- and 20-hour-per-week options. They will earn at least $17 per hour plus receive school credit and summer employment opportunities, BPRD said.
The standard school schedule poses a challenge for students to be a BPRD afterschool program employee unless an open period is arranged. Students can choose between 10-hour per week and 20-hour per week options. Interns will receive $17 per hour or more, school credit, work experience and also have summer employment opportunities.
Just as with COCC and OSU-Cascades, the internship starts in the fall of 2022. Interested students are urged to visit their high school’s The Future Center this spring for more information.