Adventure Club provides after-school learning activities

Thursday, September 26, 2002
Berry Benedick

St. Peter School students from kindergarten to fifth grade and public school students from kindergarten to fourth grade can become part of the new after-school Adventure Club program at St. Peter.

The club, which has been set aside as a revamped addition to the extended care program that has been offered at St. Peter School for the past five years, will allow students to continue learning and having fun until a parent or guardian can pick them up after work.

Preschool teacher Dena Latimer, Adventure Club leader, said the after-school program provides students a place to stay after school without parents having to pick up their children to take them to a child care provider or baby-sitter.

"We've had an extended care program since I've been here, but the teachers revamped the whole program," Latimer said. "Adventure Club gives students an incentive to come and gives them some ownership in the program. It gives them something to look forward to and some more interaction."

From 3 to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Latimer and other Adventure Club helpers provide organized activities for the club members, help them make crafts and help students with homework. The Foster Grandparent Program also provides a few "grandparents" to help share snacks and include some added supervision.

With as many as 20 students involved in Adventure Club each evening, Latimer said she would like to see even more children be able to join in the fun as it is opened up to the public schools. Aside from helping students, the program is also a benefit to parents, Latimer said.

Lori Benedick, mother of Berry Benedick, a second-grader, said Adventure Club is good simply because it provides a Christian atmosphere for her son after school.

"It's really nice," she added. "As a parent, I can take him to school and then pick him up after work. This way I don't have to leave work to pick him up after school or look for some place for him to stay until I can come get him."

Mother and son both enjoy the revamped program because they feel Adventure Club is more exciting and has a better variety of planned programs and activities. Berry said his favorite part of the program is making crafts and going on field trips.

Adventure Club works hand-in-hand with the extended care program, which offers similar after-school care and activities for St. Peter preschoolers. As the school's preschool teacher, Latimer is glad to be able to engage the younger students in some of the age-appropriate activities in which Adventure Club students participate.

The cost of extended care for preschoolers is covered in their tuition at the private school. However, Adventure Club costs $2 per hour for other students.

St. Peter Principal Linda Garner said the Adventure Club program caters to the needs of the older students because of its more organized structure.

"The different learning centers and activities going on during Adventure Club are different than extended care, because before it was more just free play," Garner said. "Now they have scheduled activities and having the homework lab is good so they can have some help with their homework and get it done so when they get home, they can spend quality time with their parents."

For more information about extended care or Adventure Club or to sign up a child for one of the programs, contact Latimer or Garner at 886-6390.

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