Last updated: May 30. 2014 8:54PM - 705 Views
By - ncooke@civitasmedia.com



Nicole Cooke | Democrat Vashti Contreras, left, waits to hand another balloon to Aubrey Thompson as they decorate the Torch Club/music room at Heber Hunt Elementary Friday afternoon for the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri's summer program, which starts Monday.
Nicole Cooke | Democrat Vashti Contreras, left, waits to hand another balloon to Aubrey Thompson as they decorate the Torch Club/music room at Heber Hunt Elementary Friday afternoon for the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri's summer program, which starts Monday.
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School’s out for summer, but the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri are gearing up for the 2014 summer program, which starts Monday at Heber Hunt Elementary.


While the traditional format of the summer program is the same, there are a few new aspects to the program, including the new Tween Club, for students who have completed fifth and sixth grade. In previous years those students were grouped with the elementary students, but after talking with Sedalia Middle School Site Manager Vicki Hart, it was decided to change things up.


“They were discussing, the elementary and middle school kids kind of get clumped together, but there’s a huge difference between a sixth grader and a fourth grader,” said Communications Coordinator Emily Jarrett. “So we separated out the fifth and sixth grade this year to do a little more age appropriate things. They’re doing some Teen Club activities scaled down a little bit and some Elementary Club scaled up, so it will be a good mix for them.”


Students can pick from the long list of offered programs each week, which range from art and music, to sports and STEM. New this year for the Teen Club is three-on-three basketball, and Jarrett said there is the possibility for both a basketball and a volleyball tournament if enough members are involved.


“We have Animal Kingdom, which I think is one of the coolest programs, where different animals are coming in, including a baby kangaroo,” said Executive Director Harper Mruk. “In addition to that, there’s also an element where the kids learn to train animals. They’ll take a dog throughout the summer and each week train that dog. It will be a shelter dog, and by the end of the summer it will be a fully trained, very adoptable shelter dog.”


Some of the programs include gardening, where students will plant a vegetable and herb garden, and the items grown will be used in the cooking program, where students will learn how to cook healthy meals and snacks on a budget, all while improving their math skills. Other interesting programs include Grossology, during which students learn about some of the more gross aspects of the human body, such as mucus and earwax, or E-Lab, which will have students learning to make solar powered projects out of E-Lab Legos.


There will also be a program that is baseball-driven through Boys & Girls Clubs of America, that was made possible through a $2,500 grant. Those involved will get to work with the Sedalia Bombers throughout the summer.


Each of the programs somehow encompass at least one of three things: healthy living, academic success and character development. The programs are meant to be fun for kids, all while teaching them something.


“Any program we have in there has to fit into one of those three categories,” Mruk said. “It feels a lot like fun, it is fun, it’s designed for fun, but it has to have an element of education in it.”


Students will be provided breakfast, lunch and a snack, and as in previous years, they will go swimming at Centennial Pool once a week, with the day depending on which group they are in.


Kinder Camp, Elementary Club and Tween Club will be from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily at Heber Hunt Elementary, 600 S. Warren Ave., cost is $10 per day. Teen Club is from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily at the Club’s downtown facility at 314 S. Washington Ave. Cost is $2 per day.


Those wishing to attend must be members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri. Membership information and paperwork can be found online at bgckids.com or at the Club’s office, 3100 Aaron Ave.


The summer program starts Monday and runs through Aug. 8. Students can still sign up by filling out a form online, or by picking one up at Heber Hunt, the administrative office, or at the downtown facility. For more information, visit bgckids.com or call 826-8331.


 
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