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Mayor Keller Announces Plan to Step Up for Families this Fall

Modified programs ready to continue serving thousands of families with COVID-19 safety practices in place

Aug. 6, 2020

Mayor Tim Keller and City of Albuquerque officials announced new details on fall youth programs today during a news conference. In addition to part-time and virtual programming, the City will offer full-day youth programs for kindergarten through eighth graders at 22 community centers across Albuquerque.

“Though necessary, we know that ongoing changes to the school schedule are incredibly hard on working families. In spite of all the limitations and complications, we found a way to provide full day youth programs to help thousands of working families keep their kids safe and engaged when they have to go to work. Staying home is a luxury that not all families have, and we’re stepping up to fill these gaps,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

“I grew up here in Albuquerque, and I know families like mine are forced to make hard choices about child care and making ends meet even in normal times. Coronavirus adds a new layer to those challenges, so we are collaborating across departments and with APS to support programming that increases equity and opportunity. Every student who has a better opportunity in education will benefit our city in the long-term,” said Sasha Pellerin, Senior Policy Advisor for Education.

Anticipating a non-traditional school year, the City is working inter-departmentally to continue youth programming into the fall semester and through December. Programs offered by the Cultural Services, Parks and Recreation, and Family and Community Services Departments will operate while taking the most recent health recommendations into considerations including:

  • Limiting overall attendance, strictly following CDC guidelines and State public health orders on gathering sizes
  • Face coverings required in all programs except swim lessons while students are in the pool
  • Separated classrooms and lower student-teacher ratios
  • Sign-in and reservation requirements to enable contact tracing in the event of an outbreak
  • Staff and youth wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and facilities will be regularly and extensively cleaned
  • Carefully managed pick-up and drop-off
  • Daily screening, including temperature testing

Registration and Lottery

The City is making it easy to sign up for One ABQ: Youth Connect programs. Slots will be allocated through a lottery, which is open for entry now through August 14th at

The total number of sites and spaces will be determined by demand. Families selected through the lottery will receive a notification to register on August 17, and will have until August 21 to register. Programs will begin August 24.

Program Offerings

Full details on program offerings across all of the One ABQ: Youth Connect departments are available at Offerings are likely to change as APS scheduling decisions become more clear and the City assesses the demand for these services.

  • Family and Community Services, which oversees all of the City’s community centers, will be offering full-day education and recreation programs at 22 locations.
    • 7:30am-5:30pm every weekday
    • Educational components in partnership with APS
    • Programs include lunch and a supper meal
  • Parks and Recreation is offering programs in City parks and open space areas, including:
    • Outdoor Field School – Kids will explore Albuquerque’s environment and natural surroundings in half-day programs offered September through November
    • Explorer Camp – Kids ages 6-10 explore nature and the great outdoors at the Open Space Visitor Center every Saturday through August
    • Tennis Lessons for ages 5-14 at Jerry Cline and Sierra Vista Tennis Centers
    • Private Swimming Lessons at West Mesa Aquatic Center, Valley Pool, Los Altos Pool, and Betsy Patterson Pool at Sandia High School. Lessons offered September through November
  • Cultural Services Department is offering programming at Explora as well as additional support for teens:
    • Single-day, weeklong, and semester long programs at Explora
    • Teen programs at BioPark, Libraries, Art Studio at the Museum, Mural Projects, and Internships

Cultural Services Department Director Shelle Sanchez also highlighted the hours of educational and fun online content her department has created to support parents at home with young children who are looking for ways to keep kids engaged. That content can all be found at and includes everything from digital tours of the BioPark and Albuquerque Museums to streamed concerts and entertainment through One Albuquerque Media and more.

Mayor Keller and First Lady Elizabeth Kistin Keller will also join community leaders in education and childhood development for a telephone town hall tonight at 7:30pm where parents and families can access additional information and resource and have their questions about options for families answered directly.