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With large homeschool community in Colorado Springs, Westside Community Center created program for families and kids to connect and play at

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Westside Community Center hosts a program on Mondays and Fridays during the daytime, for homeschool kids and their families wanting to meet, connect, and play with others. The program is called ‘Homeschool Open Play’, which takes place in Hughes Hall.

Jamie Bequette, Westside Community Center’s programs administrator, had different motives for wanting to start this program at the center.

“I noticed that homeschool families would come here and use the playground during the week and thought, well, let’s get them inside in a space when it’s not nice outside,” Bequette said. “And this can be their space, their time.”

Bequette said these programs aren’t a need in every community but is one in Colorado Springs.

“I do know there’s a strong homeschool community here in Colorado Springs and Colorado in general,” Bequette said. “I found this large group online through Facebook, and I thought, wow, this would be an excellent way to get families here during the daytime.”

According to the United States Census Bureau in 2021, an interest in ‘alternative school arrangements’ has sparked within Americans since Covid-19.

Westside Community Center says the multipurpose room is a safe and inclusive space for children along with their families. It’s also meant to give children a sense of belonging.

“Children, it gives them a sense of belonging to a community,” Bequette said. “I think to be in a community center and see other activities happening.”

Families are to bring their own ‘playtime’ equipment to the venue.

“You can bring frisbees in, people have brought in hockey sticks and hockey pucks,” Bequette said. “They’ve used those hopscotches, all kinds of different forms of entertainment.”

Westside Community Center is looking to fill in a leadership position for the program.

“We’re trying to find somebody who would want to take on that role, to be the liaison, to kind of organize some different play,” Bequette said. “You know, maybe one week is for younger kids one week is for older kids.”

The ‘Open Play’ takes place on Mondays (11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.) and Fridays (10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.).

Click here to reach out about the leadership position or to learn more about the program.

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