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Dallas ISD Summer Camps On Hold Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - North Texas students will complete the 2019-20 school year at home.

The majority of school-aged children have been completing daily assignments via at-home virtual academic models, used by school districts since March.

But starting in June, thousands of children, aged 5-12, usually take part in summer camp programs, provided by the City of Dallas, in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District.

More than 60 recreation centers and school sites provide enrichment and educational camps for kids each year.

For now, all of those programs are on hold.

"Covid-19 has suspended a lot of those plans," Byron Sanders, President and CEO of Big Thought said Monday.

Big Thought is a nonprofit contracted to implement the Dallas City of Learning initiative, which includes administering summer camps citywide.

Big Thought is coordinating a digital outreach effort for student use at home, because youngsters will likely be prohibited from City sponsored camps.

"The priority is safety right now, If you can find a solution for children at home, try to find solutions at home", Sanders stressed.

Assistant Director for Dallas Park and Recreation Crystal Ross, said working families depend on the summer programs to support children, while parents are on the job.

But restrictions put in place to reduce Covid-19 virus infections has banned any gatherings in city rec centers.

"As much as we would like to open our doors immediately and serve kids or seniors, we have to be careful how we do it, wait and be patient, and hear from the CDC. When we are allowed to open , we can do it in a safe and constructive manner," Ross said.

Dallas ISD will provide early childhood services at 16 school sites for 325 children.

The program is exclusive to pre-kindergarten through second grade.

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