In a rare collaborative effort, the City of Dos Palos and the Dos Palos/Oro Loma Joint Unified School District have come together to offer more recreational programs to the community’s children.
Through the school district’s Extended Learning Opportunity Program, the city will receive $250,000 a year for the next three years for the expansion, according to Dos Palos City Manager Dewayne Jones.
Currently, the city provides youth recreation sports such as basketball, flag football, soccer, and T-ball. Participating youngsters currently pay a fee of $20 per sport, and a part-time city employee or volunteer coordinates it.
But now, due to the Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the school district, the recreation programs will be expanded, and participants will not have to pay a fee.
Jones said this year’s youth basketball program went well, with about 180 kids from kindergarten to 12 years old participating. Soccer is the most popular, with more than 200 kids going out on the pitch. Participation in T-Ball is less because the Dos Palos Youth Baseball program also offers it.
The best part of the MOU is that it will allow hiring a full-time recreation supervisor to coordinate the activities better and, more importantly, expand the programs.
Jones hopes to have a new supervisor in place to ensure that when school lets out in June, local kids will have activities to participate in. They will include sports, summer camps, music, and arts and crafts.
“We will be expanding our programs beyond the traditional seasonal sports to year-round multiple programs and interests,” Jones explained.
As children and their families continue to recover from the Covid shutdown, the opportunity for kids to get out of the house and be active is critical and welcome. This makes the collaborative effort put forth by the school district and city a significant improvement.
“The City of Dos Palos is very appreciative of the school district and appreciates the teamwork to be able to offer programs to our youth free of charge,” said Jones.