From The World Of Parks & Recreation
By Doug Comer
Time to fire up the engines once again as Parks and Recreation, which is coming off a one-month hiatus from programs, is in process of providing the students of Harrison County with our Enrichment Programs for the 2016-17 campaign. The programs are equipped to teach children from elementary to middle school about early history, science, outdoors as well as our famed Walking with Dinosaurs.
“The month of August generally is a slow month for us in relation to activities at the Rec Complex,” remarked Director Mike Book. “But, the time allows us to organize, clean and prepare for the fall schedule. Along with our Enrichment programs, we host local qualifiers for the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick program as well as the Kirkwood Memorial Soccer Challenge. The break from the programs is good for us as we can recharge the batteries and get prepped for what is to come.”
HCPR delivered pamphlets to every elementary and middle school in the county as well as through email to surrounding counties. The pamphlet gives a brief description of the enrichments offered as well as other opportunities offered through Parks and Rec. The enrichments this year will be the following.
Medieval Times will kick off the program beginning September 19th and it will tell about the times surrounding the days of Kings, Knights, and, of course, Merlin. The staff will be dressed in full renaissance attire and while there will be foods for the kids to sample, unfortunately there will be no turkey legs that you need two hands to handle.
“We are extremely excited about this particular event because we have all been giving input into how successful it can be. Everyone has given ideas and suggestions on how things were done during this era and I believe we have a solid program that not only the kids will enjoy, but also the teachers that chaperone.”
Kids will learn about a Knight’s life and will get to train like one as well as a mythological scavenger hunt on Merlin’s trail and puppetry for entertainment.
During the holiday season we will once again offer our Appalachia enrichment. With great success in the past, we decided to continue with the program; however we changed the format a bit to avoid a repeat program to some of the students that has already visited the site. From folktales to apple butter, kids will get to see what life was like before X-box ONE or PlayStation.
The most successful program offered has been “Walking with Dinosaurs”, which has accumulated over 25,000 people during our field days and family nights. This year’s theme will be the “Best Of” series as we have exhibits from all eras of the prehistoric times. Once again we will offer our prehistoric West Virginia and have a few full-sized replica dinosaurs including the Stegodon and a Sauropod.
“We take a lot of pride in our dinosaur exhibit mostly because we just don’t offer it to the kids in the county but we offer it to all families in the area as a place where they can come and see museum quality exhibits and not spend a dime for admission. The Vital Service Levy and the County Commission both have played a huge role in the success of the program and we know this year’s will be a success,” said Book.
Finally, we offer our services to help with the end of year field days for classes and schools. The Field Days act as a springboard towards preparing for the summer parks program as we are able to promote the program to teachers and parents who help with these events.
And as mentioned earlier, the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick local qualifier will take place on Saturday September 17th at the Summit Park Recreation Complex. The event is free of charge to any child from 6-15 years of age. I will give more details in next week’s article. Also, the Kirkwood Memorial Soccer Challenge is set for Saturday October 8th at the same facility. The local qualifier is open to kids 6-14 however, only those 9-14 can qualify for state competition. Both programs start registration at 9:00 AM and are co-sponsored by the local Knights of Columbus #872. Again, details to follow in next week’s piece.