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D.C. Rec Centers To Host Play Days

"That throws parents for a loop," he said. Play day sounds pleasantly parent-friendly, Martinez said.

Jones, a 44-year-old mother of a kindergartner, said her job gives her the flexibility to just take the day off.

Amanda Bassow, a mother of two, is placing her children in a private mini-camp where they will learn African dance. She, too, was unaware of play day, though she is president of the PTA at the Capitol Hill Cluster School, which has three campuses and five educational programs.

Mini-camps can be competitive, said Bassow, 40. "They fill up very quickly, and they are not cheap," she said.

Bassow said she will be monitoring play day.

"If it looks like they run a good program, sign me up," Bassow said.

D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), chairman of the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, said the city should have advertised the program more.

"Nobody really knows how this play day is going to work," he said, adding that he supports the program as a service for working parents.

Thomas said he was disappointed that Fenty is not applying the same philosophy to the recreation department's child-care centers, which the mayor is privatizing. The Fenty administration says privatization will save the city money. Thomas says that the cost savings has not been proved as required by law and that longtime workers are losing their jobs.

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