Libraries and rec centers ready for school

As the school year begins, city is ready to fill afternoon hours between when school’s out and parents get home

In just a couple days, Saint Paul school bells will be ringing and parents will again face the question of where their kids will spend their time in the few hours between when school lets out, and when parents get home from work. With the majority of organized school programs beginning in October, Saint Paul’s public libraries and recreation centers are open this September, and throughout the school year, for all students to visit with friends, get some exercise, or even do some homework.

“With middle school ending at 2 p.m., it’s crucial that we offer our students safe places to be and fun things to do until parents return home from work. We know that learning does not end when the school day does, and we know that children who remain engaged in those few hours are more likely to stay out of trouble and perform better in school,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.

“Saint Paul’s libraries and rec centers are great places for kids to visit any day of the year," Saint Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva said. "But we are especially fortunate to have this resource available to our students in the gap between the opening dates of organized after-school programs and the start of the school year. The more learning, the better!”

Recreation centers throughout the city will begin their “back-to-school” programming on September 9. Activities will include a variety of free to low-cost alternatives like the popular “Rec Check” program, open gym, fall sports, and various drop-in programs like homework help and arts and crafts classes.

A full brochure and online catalog of available recreation center programming can be found on the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation website at

Saint Paul Public Library has 13 community libraries that welcome kids and teens after school and weekends to read books and magazines, download music, get help with homework, join a club, and explore hands-on activities. Homework Centers at several libraries are comfortable spaces where students of all ages can drop in and work on their homework independently or with the help of volunteer tutors.

The Library also offers special programs just for teens, including book clubs, advisory groups, and Createch, featuring hands-on art and technology workshops and iPad play. In addition to online articles and videos to help with student research, the Library offers a program called Homework Rescue, which offers one-to-one live homework help from online tutors for grades 3-12.

For more information on Library programming, visit

As always, parents can connect with to see what after-school programming is available near them.