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Summer Enrichment program has full schedule for summer

DEMOPLIS-Many small towns in Alabama face the problem of no activities for their youth to participate in during summer months. In Demopolis, this is not the case.

The 21st Century Summer Enrichment Camp program will be open every day from June 6 through July 1 at Westside and U.S. Jones. The camp will offer all sorts of activities from computers, scrap booking, photography, crafts, drawing, newspaper, guitar, piano, drums, keyboard, sports, ballet and field trips. All students will have some arts, crafts, music and computer every day.

Barbara Hill, who is helping coordinate the program, said the activities would be similar to those at U.S. Jones last year with a few new additions.

“We are doing some of the same things this year as we did last year,” Hill said. “We also have some new things too.”

One of the more popular events offered at the schools will be music and band week. Carrie Thomas will be teaching keyboard and guitar along Jonathan Strickland, who will teach drums and Evan Spence, who will also teach guitar. Hill felt the percussion instruments would be of particular interest to the boys who participate. Thomas will also teach piano every day for those who wish to participate.

“There will be lots of drums and I think that would be of lots of interest to boys and it is still open,” Hill said. “They can just come Monday and it will be fine. I think that is something they would really be interested in.”

The week of June 13 through 17 the program will take a special interest in arts and crafts. On June 17 they will host an open house for parents to come see their work.

Activities at Westside will also feature a big field trip week. Hill said they would try to have several activities to get the children outdoors.

“We will have different kinds of outdoor activities and nature,” Hill said. “They will take field trips around town and go feed the turtles at the Yacht Basin.

The final week children will also participate in photography, radio and newspaper week. Campers will have a chance to visit a radio station, take lots of photographs and even put together a newspaper of their own.

U.S. Jones, who will be in their second year with the program, will follow a similar schedule with music week and field trips. Hill said another old favorite would return this year. The creation of paper mache heads, which has always been a favorite, will be back on the schedule this year. Hill said this activity was discontinued when the grant ran out, but would be back this summer.

“That was one of the grants that had run out, but we are putting them back in this year,” Hill said. “Students can come any time if they want to do them. It costs $25 to do it and we provide all the materials.”

Unfortunately, Art Week is closed at U.S. Jones but there are still openings for other activities.

On June 10 Hill said parents could come by and see some of the crafts their children have made and send them on an exciting field trip.

“We have a big open house on June 10,” Hill said. “Parents and friends who may like to come see the art are more than welcome to attend. On the afternoon of the 10 we will go to environmental camp and come back Sunday afternoon. We already have a lot of people registered for that.”

During the trip campers will go canoeing, wall climbing, swimming, make crafts and participate in lots of other fun outdoor activities.

On June 17 participants in the U.S. Jones program will also have a concert for parents and the public.

Sports and cheerleading week as well as a beach trip and a trip to the Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa will also be offered.

Other fun activities will include a boat ride up Tombigbee with the Corp of Engineers and a train ride. Westside will ride an Am Track train from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, while U.S. Jones will ride from Meridian to Birmingham where they will both come together for a day of fun.

The charge is $5 per day except for the Art Camp at U.S. Jones.

Daily “drop ins” are accepted any day for a rate of $6 a day. Space is still available. Participants must be registered for field trips by June 6 because space may not be available at the last minute for the trips. All public and private school students in Demopolis will be accepted. Registration forms for field trips and summer camps are available at Westside and U.S. Jones.

There will be meetings at 8:30 a.m. at Westside and 8 a.m. at U.S. Jones on June 3 for parents to ask questions get more information.