After-school programs provide enrichment, fun

Published 10:39 pm Monday, August 24, 2009

School is beginning soon, and it is time for parents to enroll their children in after-school programs.

“It’s basically a fun and inexpensive place for them to go after school,” Tameka Dillard, who works at the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation, said. “After-school programs are giving them something to do and enhancing their quality of life.”

The parks and recreation department operates two after-school programs, one for ages 5-12 and one for teenagers.

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The Kid Zone before- and after-school program offers participating children the opportunity to take field trips, meet guest speakers, do homework, take part in games, do arts and crafts and engage in other special events.

“This gives them a whole different atmosphere,” Dillard said. “If you have one of those kids who is used to going home, doing homework and just getting on the computer, this will open up a different quality of life for them.”

Dillard said participation in the Kid Zone program can help students become more social, especially younger ones who have not had much exposure to children their age before coming to school.

“They participate and become social with other people,” Dillard said. “They come to one of our programs and learn to mingle with kids, and it makes them more active.”

Before- and after-school programs for ages 5-12 will be held at Creekside Recreation Center, Northern Shores Recreation Center and Oakland Recreation Center. Booker T. Washington Recreation Center and Mack Benn Jr. Recreation Center will hold after-school programs only.

Before-school care is available from 6:30 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and after-school care is available from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a one-time registration fee of $25 per child. Before- and after-school care cost $65 per child monthly for just one period, or $130 per child monthly for both. Registration is from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Transportation will be provided beginning Sept. 14.

The Rec N’ Crew program is offered at Kings Fork Recreation center after school only. It is held from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A one-time registration fee of $25 per teen is required, and the fee is $25 monthly per teen. Registration is offered at Kings Fork Recreation Center from 3 to 6 p.m. Transportation is not provided to Kings Fork for the after-school program.