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Recreation CARES

Updated: Jan 28

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on many families across the country, requiring parents to choose between returning to work or staying home to assist with their child's virtual learning. In Hopewell, this burden is intensified with many families living at or below the national poverty level and many children being raised in single-parent households. With daycares at maximum capacity, the City and Hopewell City Public Schools knew that something had to be done to assist families during these difficult times. The Hopewell CARES Pilot Childcare Program was quickly established before the start of the fall semester. HCPS staff would facilitate virtual learning assistance during the morning hours of the program and staff from Hopewell Recreation and Parks would take the lead in the afternoons offering a variety of games, activities, crafts, special visitors, and much more. With only two weeks to build a team, AJ McCage, Community Programs Supervisor, joined forces with Tabitha Martinez, Special Events Supervisor, to hire an all-star team who would be able to meet the high expectations of the program. AJ recruited special visitors like Hopewell Fire and Rescue, Sportable, and the Hopewell Public Library just to name a few. The program has been extremely successful to date and was extended an additional month to December 18, 2020. After surveying students during the program, here are some of the statements we received about the bond they have built with their activity leaders (recreation staff):

What do you think of your activity leader?

I want to see my activity leader every day.

Why do you want to see them every day?

Because they make everything okay.


What do you think of your activity leader?

When I see them it makes me feel good inside.

What does that mean to you when they make you feel good inside?

It’s like I know today is going to be a good day. I wish they could come home with me.


HRP would like to thank Hopewell City Public Schools for the opportunity to partner on this amazing program that is providing a direct benefit for the children of the city. We would also like to thank our amazing staff who have risen to the occasion creating countless memories and exciting new experiences.

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