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Teachers Strike Puts Pierce County YMCA on Alert

Pierce County Y may need to expand to Lakewood facility, depending on the length of the strike, which has affected 28,000 children.

Lakewood was not affected immediately by the teachers strike in Tacoma, but staff members at the Pierce County YMCA say they are preparing to expand services to the Lakewood branch to accommodate a potential increase in child-care requests.

The YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound are sharing their facilities in Tacoma. But with 28,000 students currently on vacation, the two largest youth-care nonprofits may need to bulk up their staffing.

The Pierce County YMCA took in 60 kids on Tuesday and have 100 so far today, according to Michelle LaRue, communications and capital campaign director for the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties.

"We are prepared for 200 right now, so still available to families who need care," LaRue said "If the strike continues and more families find themselves needing care, we are prepared to expand to the Lakewood Family YMCA."

The Tacoma News Tribune reported today that there is no word yet whether school will resume on Thursday.

The demand at the Y in Tacoma is currently being handled by the Morgan Family branch in Tacoma, 1002 S. Pearl St.

The Lakewood Boys & Girls Club branch said it was not taking kids in, because their youths attend the Clover Park School District, according to Director Erik Kramer.

"Our four locations in Tacoma will be taking kids all day until the strike ends," Kramer said. "If we fill at those locations, then we will reassess the situation, but at this time, there is plenty of space at our Tacoma clubs for kids who need all day care."

The Lakewood Club will be open normal hours from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Check back for an update to see if any of the youth facilities in Lakewood will begin taking kids as a result of the teachers strike in border-city Tacoma.

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