By Doug Comer
Throughout the year and under normal conditions, our Enrichment Programs have been utilized by schools all over Harrison County as well as other outlying schools. Thousands of kids attend our programs and the demand has always been high on getting a date reserved. They are not necessarily play dates for the kids, but a chance to get away from the classroom and have a hands-on experience that you may not find in books.
While education is something you would not think would be offered here at the Recreation Complex, Director Mike Book has found a way to make it happen here with Parks and Recreation, and it is that additive that makes our department unique.
“Enrichments and the programs we offer during the school year have had wonderful feedback over the years as many teachers and others have either sent thank you cards or posted activity on their school media pages. And it has been through word of mouth that has made our enrichment programs some of the better field day activities for schools,” said Book.
And the boss is correct-a-mundo (Happy Day’s reference) as the release dates for registration are like buying tickets online to see Timberlake at the PPG in Pittsburgh. The process involves emailing Book with a request date and he will try to accommodate. We believe the fairest way to make these reservations is to set a date and time to receive email requests. Once they are in the system, it is a first-come, first-serve basis. And Book is pretty tight on making sure the emails are received at the exact release time.
“It gets pretty crazy when it comes to registration as we have a certain time we accept. In most cases, it is 9 a.m. on the release date,” said Book. “We take in all the emails and then chart their requests, once we can see if it works, then we send a link to them to register for their class. There is such a demand for the events that if we do not have some uniform way of handling requests, then things can really fall off the rails. This procedure has been pretty solid over the past few seasons.”
The registration for the dinosaur exhibit begins this week, and based on response from the flyer we sent to the teachers a couple weeks ago, we should fill up in no time. This exhibit has always created a buzz within the education community, and I am sure that those who can attend will be impressed with all the hard work that we are doing.
Prehistoric Planet has mediated with other vendors in helping with many of the pieces that will be on display including the T-Rex, which will be shown with a different look than in the past. We have had Sue, the largest T-Rex head found, but sometimes without the body, you really cannot grasp how dominant-looking the king of the dinosaurs were. Having both on display will allow that without having to imagine based on scale comparisons.
“The team really gets wrapped up in this enrichment and it really shows with the final product,” said Book. “It is always a wonderful creation when finished and the looks on the kids’ faces makes all of our hard work worthwhile. I am sure we will get the same reactions this year.”
And for those who would want to come and see the exhibit, we are open for the weekends to the public. Please look on our website and social media pages for more information on dates and times.