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A young woman smiles as she shows a picture book to a group of young children seated in a circle beside her.

Alexandra Katechris, top, teaches the basics of literacy to kindergartners and first graders at the Columbine Recreation Center.

Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post

Denver rec centers, libraries will offer extended hours and services to children during strike

The city of Denver is announcing it will expand hours and services at recreation centers and libraries to provide another option for parents who choose not to send their kids to school during a teacher strike.

Denver Public Schools has said it will attempt to keep schools open and is planning to deploy more than 1,400 central office employees along with regular substitutes to fill in at various schools. But whether or not to send children to school will likely be a personal choice for parents.

According to Friday’s announcement, all city recreation centers will open at 8 a.m. during a strike, and will expand their meal services to offer lunch as well as additional snacks.

Libraries will open by 10 a.m. during a strike and will also serve students snacks. Libraries are also preparing additional programming during a teacher strike.

All Denver children between the ages of 5 and 18 have free access to all Denver recreation centers with their MY Denver Card.

The city’s announcement Friday also touted the Boys and Girls Clubs as an option for children, but some of those clubs are based in schools, and will have to close if the district decides to close those schools. A spokeswoman for the organization said if that happens, the clubs will look at how else they might provide services for children who are members.

Mayor Michael Hancock is also encouraging city departments and other businesses to be flexible with employees in accommodating for their child care needs.