‘The least we can do:’ Chicago Park staff volunteer to care for kids of local hospital workers | TheUnion.com

‘The least we can do:’ Chicago Park staff volunteer to care for kids of local hospital workers

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Despite the changes going on in the country because of COVID-19, some people still remembered Tuesday was a holiday.

Those people were kids, and they could be found at Chicago Park School celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, drawing leprechauns and participating in other craft games. But as school has not been in session, those children were not necessarily Chicago Park students.

Rather, Nevada County schools decided to have Chicago Park teachers volunteer to watch over the kids of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s health care workers, enabling those employees to care for sick residents.

On Tuesday, three teachers, on a rotating schedule with four staff members, were in a classroom assisting about 10 kids. On that day, one child was drawing a cat-leprechaun because, she said, “my favorite animal’s a cat… and a unicorn.”

The Chicago Park staff will voluntarily provide child care for the rest of the week, according to Chicago Park Superintendent-Principal Katie Kohler.

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Kate Head, special education teacher at Chicago Park, said she volunteered because she wanted to help, and because she’s still receiving pay while many other employees in the area are not.

“I felt like it was the right thing to do,” she said.

In the coming weeks, child care for the children of health care workers will be provided at a different school site, particularly one closer to the hospital, according to local education administrators. Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay said for the next two weeks child care for parents who work at the hospital will be at Yuba River Charter School followed by Union Hill Elementary School.

Local schools have recently been scrambling to assist and feed their students while also trying to help others in any way they can, according to Lay.

“It’s day by day,” said Lay. “It really is.”

Kohler said child care for health care workers’ children at Chicago Park has occurred from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. During that time, Kohler said there has been a surplus of Chicago Park staff wanting to volunteer to help.

“It’s the least we can do,” said the superintendent. “(Health care workers) need to be there doing their jobs.”

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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