Click on an activity for more information.
If you have an activity you would like to submit, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Programs directly related to Salida Recreation will utilize the City of Salida Recreation Release of Liability. The City of Salida, Support Our Schools Salida, High Country Bank, and Robin NeJame dba Kaska LLC are not responsible for the actions of any other party.
April, 2014 – Friday Enrichment reflections
It is that time of the year….spring has sprung, and it’s a great time to do some “spring cleaning”. Spring cleaning in our business means analyzing activities, reflecting on what went right and what could have gone better, and finding out how to be more successful at serving Salida’s families. We want to grow, just like those daffodils that are peaking out of your flower beds.
This month we made some personal contacts with some of our clients, asking them to provide us with their input on what is being offered, what more they would like to see, and how Friday Enrichment is going for them in general.
Let us introduce you to one local family that is involved in Friday Enrichment activities.
Lucia (age 8) and Stella (age 5) Zettler participated in the Little Rippers program at Monarch Mountain, Tumbling/Gymnastics with the Recreation Department, and Two-Wheel Fridays with Absolute Bikes. Their parents, Magdalena and Daniel, relayed that all experiences were positive. They learned about these programs by word of mouth and postings at the school and pool, as well as the Salida Recreation and Monarch websites.
The most important input that we received, and this is a consistent message from many families, is that physical recreation is but one component of an “enriched” child.
Magdalena says, “I would also like to see more programs focused on science and math enrichment in a more relaxed and fun setting which is conducive to free exploration of said topics in a non-structured atmosphere. For example, the kite flying program offered by Salida Recreation last fall [and coming up this spring!]. Let’s offer one day courses on a variety of hands -on science projects, i.e. volcano creations, skeleton creations, weather experiments (like the kite project), animal husbandry, waterworks education day with a visit to our waterworks department, gardening…”
This is what we intend to work on. We agree, recreation is just one component of an enriching experience and even academics can be recreation!
When asked about Friday Enrichment, Lucia said, “I like it a lot because I don’t have to stay home and do nothing, and I have a chance to be with other kids.” Stella said, “I like tumbling because it is really fun and because I get to meet new, really fun friends.”
Magdalena’s comments hit home, as did the input of many individuals. In this light, we are so excited to share an opportunity for little ones that should not be missed!
It was brought to our attention that Longfellow Elementary School will be getting out slightly earlier than the other schools in the district. With Boys and Girls Club being closed the last week of school to prepare for their summer programs, we knew that we had to create something special for these children while their sisters and brothers were still finishing up school.
Salida Recreation has a strong relationship with Boys and Girls Club, and with this “pre-summer camp” we are building one with the CSU Extension Office and 4H. Also coming to the table are the wonderful friends that help grow our school lunches, Karen Fortier, Amanda Early-Coen and Margaret Fitch. We have partnered to be able to offer your children a fun experience this coming May 29th and May 30th. We will have use of Boys and Girls Club where activities will be offered in robotics, engineering, water experimentation, food growing and gardening, thanks to our partners. There will be a charge for this camp, but scholarships are available through the Recreation Deparment!
I look forward to sharing the details about this opportunity in my final column for the school year. You will also see information at www.salidarecreation.com/fridays in the coming weeks. We hope that this experience is the first of many offerings in helping to reach the “whole child”.
These programs are possible because of the generous support of High Country Bank. Please express your thanks to their employees when your see them. Their dedication to the children of this community is inspiring!
We want more input and will work to incorporate it into future programming, so please consider dropping us an email (email@example.com) to let us know how we are doing and what we can be doing better. We care about your children and like those daffodils, we are committed to watching them grow and flourish!
March 2014 – The Importance of Children Serving as Volunteers: A Friday Enrichment Opportunity
On Fridays, we see our children getting tutored, participating in sports, training for Knowledge Bowl, writing poetry, learning a foreign language, and going on field trips. Another great option for Friday enrichment is service learning. Children are typically seen as recipients of service, but the reality is, they are givers as well.
This month, I highlight a Salida youth who “gives back”.
Iain Stewart, a Salida sixth grader, volunteers at the Sunshine Shelter. Iain was encouraged to volunteer by his parents. “We both believe that living in a community is a social contract. When we moved here 8 years ago we wanted to be involved and contribute our time to this special place we could now call home. We agreed at the beginning that Steve would give of his time to civic and cycling opportunities (city council and SRC board) and I [Francelia] would give time to the schools. Although we’ve never really had a conversation with Iain about the importance of volunteerism, I believe our actions are noticed and he now is volunteering and hopefully will someday just come to see this as just something ‘you do’.”
I asked Iain a few questions about his experience…
Why did you choose to volunteer at the cat shelter?
Because I like cats and it’s fun to play with them.
What was expected of you?
I had to attend training before I could volunteer. I learned how to take proper care of the cats, how to handle them, how to groom them and I have to sign in\out whenever I volunteer at the shelter.
Was Friday a good day to volunteer?
Yes, except on the days when there is great powder at Monarch.
Why is volunteering important to you?
Volunteering is not really important to me, I just like playing with the cats. (Love the honesty of an 11 year old)
Anything else to share?
The cats must be getting adopted pretty quickly because there are new cats about every week at the shelter.
It is interesting that as adults we see a child “giving back” but the child focuses on the enjoyment of the experience. Volunteerism is like a language—we learn the concept at a young age but its full impact is acquired from immersion over a period of time.
If Iain’s story has inspired you, here are some ideas to get you started! There is the Sunshine Shelter, the Humane Society and 4H for animal lovers, or tutoring opportunities through Boys and Girls Club for kids who love school. One can spend time in intergenerational situations, perhaps at a nursing home or church organization. Community events like the Run Through Time Marathon always need help, and organizations like Southwest Conservation Corps and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado will fulfill the outdoor oriented child.
Another opportunity through the Salida Recreation Department is KORE—Kid’s Opportunity for Recreation Experience. This program introduces kids to a job-like experience in the fun setting of summer recreation programs. From an application and interview process to first aid and job skills training, KORE kids receive valuable experiences before the summer even starts. Once summer recreation programs begin, kids will discover hot to contribute to positive and creative programming. They will be introduced to job skills such as communicating with peers and supervisors, scheduling time, and receiving feedback. To find out more about this great program, please visit www.salidarec.com/kore.
Volunteerism promotes healthy lifestyle choices, enhances social development, teaches life skills, improves the community and encourages a lifelong service ethic. A well-executed volunteer opportunity will also get kids out of their comfort zones in order to have a truly transformational experience.
If you have ideas for service learning projects , please contact Salida Recreation, Boys and Girls Club, or school guidance counselors, and share your ideas. Help build the self-esteem of our youth and show them how to be stewards of our community.
February, 2014 – So much Friday FUN and ENRICHMENT!!
Have you been wondering what is REALLY going on any given Friday Enrichment Day? What are children specifically accomplishing? Friday Enrichment Day is not exactly what you might think. Sleeping in? Watching television? Sleep overs with friends? There is no denying that these privileges are not happening here and there, but it feels to me that the opportunities far outweigh what one might think is going on. Being less busy does not seem to be the case. This month, let me focus on some specifics of what our children are getting out of Friday Enrichment.
For our younger friends, we offer Rowdy at Riverside. “Rowdy” is a way to get out the winter wiggles in a warm, safe environment! This playgroup for children under 5 years (although older kids enjoy it too!) is a great way to socialize with other kids and families. Each week there is a rotation of several activities to keep the fun fresh! Parents are invited to stay, but they may also drop their kids off for supervision.
“Blowin’ in the Wind” was offered for the first time this past fall, and because of the excitement for this activity, we will be having a second class this spring! Local residents, Cheryll Faust and Hillard Howard, kiting aficionados have been donating their time to teach children about the physics of kites, the building of kites, the decorating of these works of art, and finally, how to fly them in varying conditions. This engaging activity meets the needs of both the active and meditative child!
“Ready, Aim, Fire” is being offered by Brad at Western Archery. This FREE Friday activity takes place one Friday a month from 10am – 11am. Come out and learn to shoot! Bring your own equipment, or borrow some of theirs. School-aged children are welcome, with the supervision of their parents.
Spanish lessons will be offered for elementary aged kids starting in February. Learning a second language as a child literally changes the wiring in a young person’s brain, creating connections that will serve them for a lifetime.
KHAN Academy is offered at Boys and Girls Club for Middle School-aged students. This innovative on-line math tutorial program is the “rage”! It is not only a great tutoring tool, but it is also and effective teaching tool. The program uses the Khan Academy* software, a highly successful and widely used on-line learning system, combined with active hands-on instruction guided by coaches, practical “real world” problem solving, and active games that make math fun to learn!
Once again, USA Coach Womack from High Country Gymnastics will be offering tumbling classes. This next 4 week session starts up on Friday, February 21, and is always popular because of the high quality of the coaching.
This spring, Sunshine Rotary will be teaming up with Boys and Girls Club, providing shadowing opportunities with several of our local Rotarians. This experience will allow elementary and middle school-aged children the chance to have some hands-on experience in the work-force. Thanks to Rotary, children will be given a list of businesses willing to participate, and then they can choose different avenues based on their interests. This is not only an intergenerational experience, but it also provides our youth with a sense of what it takes to make a well-rounded and caring community.
This community is working hard to bring enriching and affordable opportunities to your children. Please remember that the recreation department has a scholarship program available, for all youth Salida Recreation sponsored activities. Please ask for more information at the front desk of the Hot Springs Aquatic Center.
Dance with Salida Dance Studio, Pilates with the Pilates Studio, science with Kaleidoscope, knitting at Boys and Girls Club, Salida Circus activities, Absolute Bikes Two-Wheel Fridays, Park and Pool, skiing at Monarch Mountain, and MORE…from active to academic, we see children that are engaged, building social skills, and gaining intellectual skills. We are constantly striving to enhance our offerings, so that opportunities are abundant for the children of our community. Please view the above calendar for more information. Please contact Robin NeJame, Friday Enrichment Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. As always, special thanks to to our friends at High Country Bank for their continued support of Friday Enrichment.
January 8, 2013 – Fridays are an opportunity for kids, entrepreneurs
What words would you use to describe your child’s Fridays? Fun? Fulfilling? Fabulous? The City of Salida Recreation Department works to try to make this a reality, providing enriching activities on Fridays throughout the school year for our youth and working with other parties to accomplish the same.
Year-round this department also provides activities for our entire community “old” and young”, offering trips to recreation centers outside our community, gymnastics classes, travelogues, art classes and everything in between. The recreational activities provided go beyond the physical and more traditional outlets.
We have a recreation department that strives to go above and beyond, hence unique offerings such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” kite classes that explore the history, physics and fun of kite-flying and “Learn to Draw what you See,” an artistic development class offered by community partner Box of Bubbles.
In addition, the Recreation Department recently completed a community-wide survey which yielded lots of good feedback. One comment that came up over and over was the difficulty that households with two working parents experience to get their children to an activity. To attempt to remedy this, Salida Recreation and the Boys and Girls Club are exploring several transportation options that will enable more children to participate.
As Friday Enrichment Coordinator, I would like to encourage any entrepreneurs out there, to consider utilizing the Salida Recreation Department as a “hub” for what they would like to offer. There are many benefits to running activities through our city’s recreation department.
First, the Rec Department can take care of the administrative aspects! We know a good instructor when we see one—they are the ones that dig into the program planning and provide countless opportunities for interaction with their students. Let Salida Rec do the behind the scenes work, so you can focus on the instruction!
Second, we can help arrange a location for the activity that you would like to offer. Many times the Rec Department can secure access to locations that otherwise might be costly, sometimes even for free!
Third, we can assist you with insurance matters. When educating in any realm it is imperative to protect yourself and to protect your children. We have experience and can give you some suggestions, or even provide insurance depending on the conditions of agreements.
Fourth, the Salida Rec can market you! All you need to do is get your plans together and we will promote you through flyers, recreation guides, weekly newspaper advertisements, web presence, and social media.
And finally, we offer scholarships for your students. This is an excellent benefit to you as an instructor, as well as the youth in Salida, because it opens the doors for more students to participate.
If you have interest in providing an activity through the recreation department, please contact recreation supervisor Maggie Murdoch at email@example.com.
As always, a heartfelt thank you to High Country Bank. The funding that they provide allows the Salida Recreation Department to go above and beyond in their creation and promotion of Friday activities. A great portion of their donation also goes right to a scholarship fund, assisting those in need with affordable opportunities on Friday Enrichment day!
Upcoming Friday Enrichment activities for January include….tumbling, Rowdy at Riverside, Monarch Ski Bus, break dancing, KHAN Academy, seasonal programs at Monarch Mountain, ballet at Salida Dance Studio, Chaffee County Montessori Adventure Fridays, Zumba, Boys and Girls Club Pilates instruction sponsored by The Pilates Studio, Boys and Girls Club science experiments sponsored by Kaleidoscope Toys, archery instruction sponsored by Western Archery, and much more! May your new year be full of fun and cheer!
December 2, 2013 – Giving Thanks to Mayberry!
Thanksgiving is by far, my favorite holiday. There is nothing I like more than to reflect on what I have to be grateful for. I truly mean that. I am a counter of blessings.
This Thanksgiving, as with every Thanksgiving, I am reminded that I should not just be thankful one day of the year, but every single day of the year.
In this month’s column I would like to focus on all we have to be thankful for pertaining to Friday Enrichment, in the town that many of us call home, and sometimes it is called …“Mayberry.”
Besides the obvious – food, shelter, water, family, and friends – I am also extremely grateful for community. It has now officially been 2½ years since Salida School District R-32-J took a giant leap. This community, as well as every other community in Colorado, was up against enormous budgetary constraints, due to consistent lack of funding from the state’s educational funding system.
The school district made the difficult decision to go to a 4-day school week, rather than eliminating positions and programs. This is a sensitive topic, still. This leap was not easy for the decision-makers, nor for the community that had to embrace the changes. But, together, they took a leap and embraced change.
I am thankful for a community coming together and making the most of a challenging situation. Our community came together, beginning with the ad-hoc committee that essentially molded what is offered to our children today, on Friday Enrichment Day. Thank you to those participants who took an active role in creating dialogue that continues to influence where we are today, on a typical Friday during the school year.
I am thankful for providers like the Salida Recreation Department, the Boys & Girls Club, Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, Salida Dance Studio, Nancy Powers from the Ecology Club, Monarch Mountain, Absolute Bikes … the list is endless – for going above and beyond in trying to meet the needs of the children of this community. Thank you for creating innovative, affordable and enriching programs for our youth.
I could not promote these entities without the support of High County Bank, Salida Recreation and Support Our Schools Salida (SOSS). High County Bank, Salida Recreation and SOSS wanted to assist the ad-hoc committee by promoting Friday activities and getting the information out in a consistent manner. They are also assisting with the development of future opportunities for our children. Thank you, High Country, Salida Recreation and SOSS, for investing in our future, our children.
It is just a month before year’s end, a time of the year when many people choose to give back or to “pay it forward.” I would like to ask you to consider investing in our children.
SOSS provides funds for educational programs that are used to promote student achievement and skill development, to develop staff excellence and to expand community involvement. By donating to SOSS you may qualify for the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit.
This credit allows Colorado taxpayers who make a monetary contribution to promote childcare in Colorado to claim a Colorado tax credit of 50 percent of the total donation. This tax credit is a reduction of the taxes you owe. The contribution is deductible at the federal level as well. Give more, save more; please consider it, for our children.
I am also a wearer of rose-colored glasses, and even I know that this process has not always been smooth nor has it always met everyone’s needs, much to my dismay. I will continue to strive to meet your needs this school year. I will work to get the information out there, assess the programs and assist in growing our opportunities.
November 5, 2013 – Friday Enrichment: Building Partnerships
What do you kids do with their free time on Fridays? Do you feel they are engaged and entertained?
Funded by a generous $9,000 donation from High County Bank, SOSS and Salida Recreation created a new position with the purpose of promoting Friday programming for Salida’s youth.
With this assistance, Salida Recreation and SOSS will become a hub of information about Friday activities, as well as a network to connect people who wish to offer programming with those who have the resources to help.
These organizations will actively distribute information on Friday Enrichment opportunities for school-aged children through their websites, email announcements, school Facebook pages, news and radio announcements and through local organization newsletters and announcements. Plan on seeing monthly updates in the Mountain Mail during the school year.
The Salida Recreation Department will be the official hub for getting all types of Friday Enrichment information to the community, whether it is hosted by the department or not.
Please share your ideas with us to help is meet your needs. If there is a program not being offered through the recreation department or other organizations, we encourage your input.
More importantly, if you or someone you know needs financial help to participate in a program, please ask about Salida Recreation youth scholarships.
If you would like us to highlight your Friday Enrichment activity already being offered, suggest an educational opportunity for a child (such as an internship or a specific class) or if you would like more information, please contact Robin NeJame, Friday Enrichment Coordinator.
And check out our Friday Enrichment page for details about program currently being offered!
WHAT TO EXPECT
• Gathering of Friday Enrichment activities. Let us promote your events or activities. Please email your events, providing proof of insurance.
• Dissemination of calendar information via SalidaRec.com/fridays, Salida.com/SOSS, SalidaSchools.org, TheMountainMail.com, SalidaCitizen.com, ilovesalida.com, SalidaDailyPost.com, Tenderfoot Times, Salida School District Facebook page and Chamber updates.
• Radio Interviews
• Presentations to Community Organizations, such as Rotary, Salida Business Alliance, and Chamber of Commerce.
• Outreach and recruitment to create further Friday Enrichment opportunities, work with other organizations such as Boys and Girls Club and Family and Youth Initiatives to ensure that we meet the needs of the children in our community.
• Create partners. How can the community support these opportunities? Provide a mentorship/internship program, create new programs, financial donations (to provide scholarships, supplies, etc…)…..we want to work with you!