ESCANABA - The Escanaba Civic Center will now be accepting fourth-grade students as part of its after school Youth/Teen Center program. The sessions are supervised and free for parents and students.
"This year because the fourth grade has moved into the middle school, we have opened up the Civic Center to fourth-graders. In the past, it has always been fifth-graders over at the middle schools, so we started with fifth-graders," said Tom Penegor, Escanaba recreation director.
Children in grades fourth through sixth will be allowed to come to the Civic Center Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Junior high and high school students are allowed to use the facility Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 8:50 p.m. All grade levels are welcome from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and high school students have extra time on Saturdays from 7:30 to 8:50 p.m.
The age limits on the Civic Center are designed to protect children. "Little kids really aren't mature enough or coordinated enough to use some of the equipment," said Penegor. "Basically, for safety reasons and things like that, we've always had limits on the age group, on who's allowed in here on their own."
Younger children are allowed in the Civic Center with parental supervision. However, many of the students in the after school program are children who have parents working and aren't available when kids get out of school.
"With the growing need of two parents working sometimes the parents aren't home after school. This is the place that children can come after school and be supervised in a nice environment, and also enjoy some of these activities, almost like a teen center even though they aren't teenagers yet," said Penegor.
Children who come to the center after school have access to table tennis, pool tables, card games, air hockey, foosball, board games, movies, basketball, dodgeball, and other activities at no cost.
"They can do their homework here and also socialize with other classmates," said Penegor. "Right after school to 6:30 in the evening the computers will be available for children to do their homework."
New to the Civic Center is a computer lab with laptops and printer access. With a signed parental consent form, students may use one of the laptops in the lab for homework for 60 minutes per day.
Wireless access is also available at the Civic Center for free, and color printing is available for 25 cents per page.
Other programs, including fifth and sixth grade boys and girls basketball, are also available at the Civic Center during the school year. Sign up forms can be picked up from schools or from www.escanaba.org.
The Civic Center also offers programs for adults and senior citizens. Adult programs include women's open volleyball, men's recreational basketball, men's City Basketball League, open gym and game room, pistol and archery range time, and fitness classes. Senior programs include line dancing, walking, games, cards, bingo, and senior-oriented fitness classes.
For more information about the Civic Center after school program or other activities for children and adults visit www.escanaba.org or contact the Civic Center at 786-4141 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.