Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2007

City kicks off after-school program

October 18, 2007

The Eudora Parks and Recreation department's after-school program began Monday in a temporary home.

Originally, the program was to take place in the city's new recreation complex, 1638 Elm St., but construction delays pushed the first day's activities down the street to Nottingham Elementary School, 1428 Elm St.

Seven-year-old Jeffery Wallace didn't seem to mind Monday afternoon as he sat on the gym floor playing a board game.

Three Eudora USD 491 staff members work with the city to watch the youngsters from about 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The after-school program will not be offered Friday because of a teacher work day and parent-teacher conferences set for Oct. 24 and 25 will strike those days from the schedule. However, a play day is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26. Those planning to use the program will be charged $20 for the day and parents will need to provide a sack lunch for their child.

The program is for children ages 5 to 12. There's a $5 per day or $20 per week fee to participate.

"It just gives their parents a little bit of relief knowing that their children are being watched and taken care of," Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Tammy Hodges said.

Running an after-school program isn't new to Hodges, who worked with similar programs before coming to Eudora.

"The fun part is just being able to put this type of program on," Hodges said. "We try to have fun activities to where it's not a daycare program."

The sessions will follow a similar pattern.

Each day, children will be given snacks, games and even study time in 30-minute slots, Hodges said.

The study time could be especially important, instructor Rose Balluch said.

"They'll have all their homework done when their parents come and pick them up," Balluch said.

She said the youngsters would have more quality time parents with homework done.

Hodges has been working closely with the school district to bring the program to fruition.

"It will be interesting to see what we can do," Hodges said.

In coming weeks, the program will offer holiday-themed activities. Hodges has pumpkin carving set for Oct. 29. She also has plans for the Thanksgiving and the December holiday seasons.

The department also is looking into the possibility of taking youngsters on field trips, Hodges said.

"It's just fun to take them out and see the world they've not seen," Hodges said.

She predicts the program should move into the new facility by the end of the month.

A solid opening date for the new recreation facility hasn't been set yet.

This week, construction workers should be installing the basketball court and the scoreboard should come in a few weeks later, Hodges said.

"There's still some things that need to be finished up before we step in there," Hodges said.

The after-school program isn't the only recreation initiative displaced by the lagging center. Both a karate class and Jazzercise are among the programs at temporary homes.

Although a full opening date has yet to be set, the recreation center will be used as a polling site for the Nov. 6 election when the $45 million school bond and Charter Ordinance No. 10 elections will be voted upon.

For more information or to register for the program, visit the recreation office at 14 E. Seventh St. or call the recreation department at 542-1725.

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