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Fantastic Fridays are a hit

Photo courtesy of Amanda Gerhardt

Photo courtesy of Amanda Gerhardt

Are you looking for a fun, safe way to entertain kids on the Fridays that Cedar Springs Public Schools releases kids two hours early? Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec has the answer in its new program “Fantastic Fridays.”

“We’ve had two Fridays and are having a great time, but would love for more students to get involved,” said CSAPR Director Amanda Gerhardt. She said they have had 20-30 students, and initial plans were to serve 60-80.

Fantastic Fridays was developed as a partnership between the Parks and Rec and the school system to help ease the burden of parents on the 11 early release Fridays spread throughout the school year for professional development.

Designed for students in first through 6th grade, Fantastic Fridays is an enrichment program that includes healthy snacks, activities, and a certified teacher and daycare provider on staff. Each Friday will have a theme, and could include special guest speakers, craft projects, and recreational activities.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Gerhardt

Photo courtesy of Amanda Gerhardt

“The first week was themed “red” for Red Flannel Weekend, so the Red Cross came and spoke to the group about first aid, weather safety, household safety and more,” explained Gerhardt. “The second week was about healthy lifestyles.  We did a lesson on the food pyramid, played nutrition bingo, learned some basic dance moves with former Red Flannel Queen Rebecca Tackmann, exercised to the new ZUMBA craze with instructor Kate Rehmus, and relaxed and toned with our yoga instructor, Chelie Simmons.  It was a great day.”

The next early release date will be October 30 and the theme will be responsible pet care. A veterinarian assistant will visit with animals.

Programs run from directly after school on early release days until 5:30 p.m. Students can be picked up earlier, however. The cost is $8 per Friday. Scholarships are available for those on free or reduced lunch programs.

To register for the Fantastic Fridays, pick up a registration form at the district office at Hilltop, or visit the Parks and Rec website at www.csaparksandrec.com.

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