Katherine Bailey (email@example.com) e-mailed this message to the Almanac on Feb. 17, 2007:
I wanted to let your newspaper know that there are a growing number of parents who are networking to express their concern related to the lack of after-school childcare options available to Menlo Park school district families. As a result there is a meeting scheduled -- see below for details.
Dear working parents:
The mayor of Menlo Park (Kelly Ferguson), Councilman John Boyle and community services director (Barbara Santos George) have agreed at the request of numerous concerned parents to host a meeting to discuss the lack of after school care options within the City of Menlo Park (particularly for kindergarten age children).
Though numbers seems to vary slightly depending on who you ask, reportedly there are approximately 330 kindergartners enrolled in the district currently (06'-07'). Enrollment is expected to increase next year. There were six openings available for Sept 07-08' school year in the Burgess After School Center. Half of those six spaces were taken by parents forced to literally sleep out over night to secure a space for their children. There were no spaces available for first graders.
While Palo Alto serves approximately 22% of the kindergarten families, offering onsite after school care at ALL of it's elementary schools, Menlo Park serves only 7% of it's families and offers NO onsite options. By last poll, approximately 80% of Menlo Park families were working parents.
If you feel, as we do, that this is unacceptable in a city so rich with resources and ingenuity we hope you will join us in expressing your opinions and in requesting an immediate remedy.
The meeting will be held Monday, February 26, 2007 at 6 p.m. at 701 Laurel -- The Fireside Room in the Recreation Center Menlo Park.
If you cannot make the meeting please consider contacting the Superintendents' office at 650 321 7140 or sending an email to the MP City council at: CITY.COUNCIL@menlopark.org, and/or the Mayor of the Town of Atherton at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See related story