Summer activities are strong in Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2005

If you don’t think there is anything for your child to do in Demopolis this summer think again. As a roving newspaper reporter I have been making my rounds for summer programs and I have to say I have been impressed by what I have seen.

Several days I have stopped by the Summer Reading Program at the Demopolis Public Library and have hated to leave each time. I have only attended a fraction of the events they have held and have already seen a circus, a variety of critters and learned this morning the joys of pizza. In all this fun there has been one constant. The children have had a blast and learned something.

The program also gets children away from the television and into reading. With the hundreds of television channels and internet access children are not as quick to pick up a book. The first phase of getting them interested in reading is getting them into the library to show all that it has to offer. So far, the crowds have been wonderful and I have no doubt they will do just that.

There are also several opportunities for young people in the area to develop new skills with the Summer Enrichment Programs being hosted by U.S. Jones. There are a lot of talented people involved in this program that hold a wealth of knowledge when it comes to music. Ask most any child who has participated in the program and they will tell you they have benefited in some way.

As an added bonus they have drums and what youngster doesn’t want to beat a drum as loud as they can? The program is ongoing at both schools and a source of great excitement for those who participate and organize it (just ask Barbara Hill).

If parents are seeking a more religious and spiritual based summer experience look no further than the church down the street. If you cannot find a suitable vacation Bible camp it is because you are not trying. There are far too many going on right now to attempt to name and several more to come. These camps combine fun and morals and their benefits will stick with participants for the rest of their lives. For new children in the area this is also an excellent way to break the ice and make instant friends.

Once your child has completed a fun-filled morning with the Summer Reading Program, Summer Enrichment Program or local vacation Bible school there is time for one more fun activity…youth sports. There are more baseball, softball and soccer leagues in Demopolis than any small town I have ever seen. The benefits that come from participation are obvious; Teamwork, self-esteem and a desire to excel are built through youth sporting events. Many of the worlds doctors, lawyers, politicians and leaders light their inner fire to be the best participating in youth sports. We are fortunate to have some of the strongest youth programs in West Alabama.

If all else fails there is another option. Not every kids likes baseball, reading or music. Every child is different. If your child is not into any of the above mentioned activities there is still a way to make them use their imagination to entertain themselves and build character. Send them outside! Turn off the television, log off the Internet and send them outside. Contrary to what most children believe they will not choke from overexposure to fresh air. Air conditioning deprivation is not mentioned as a life threatening condition in any medical journal. The summer break is a time for kids to get out. Staying inside and snacking on Twinkies and tater chips is a waste of time and brain cells.

There are plenty of fun activities to take part in this summer. Don’t let your child waste his or her days catching up on soap operas or talk shows.