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Jun 22, 2004

For kids summer activities abound

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School’s out for summer…well almost. And in case you are a parent desperately looking for a positive programme for your child to participate in, tonight News 5?s Jacqueline Woods offers a few options.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

As summer rapidly approaches, Belizean parents will be scrambling to find summer programmes to enrol their children. Young men and women who volunteer at the YMCA brushing up on their strokes, getting ready to teach their peers and young children how to safely enjoy a favourite past time while on holiday. For the past thirteen and a half years, the Young Men Christian Association has been providing swimming classes for all ages.

This year a total of thirty volunteers will be involved in the program that will be conducted at Princess Pool. Since last week, each volunteer has been undergoing an intensive training course to ensure that they are qualified for the job.

Kenrick Williams, Programme Coordinator, YMCA

We had an initial C.P.R. and First Aid training with the Red Cross, a session that we had last Wednesday, which was just to bring the students up to par in terms of rescue breathing and resuscitation and all those things in terms of ensuring that the children are safe when they?re there. Now it?s an integral part so that volunteers know that they are up to par in terms of working with children, they?re up to par with their own swimming mechanistics in terms of breast stroke and back stroke, all the different levels they?re up to par with their knowledge for swimming.?

?We try to be strict because we?re delivering a service to the people, to the public. So we try to maintain that level, but most of our volunteers are committed people and they have done it out of heart and that?s why we don?t have problems in terms of commitment; they have been really committed.?

This year, the YMCA will be offering for the first time a diving programme that will be conducted in open water and at the Radisson Fort George Pool.

Kenrick Williams

?This programme will be offered through the Hugh Parkey Foundation and they?re offering this programme for a very cheap rate so we will be taking up to twelve participants doing open-water sea diving.?

But as YMCA volunteers get ready for their swim programme, the pool at the YWCA remains closed. According to the Young Women Christian Association, BWSL disconnected the water after they have been unable to meet an arrears payment of fourteen hundred dollars. Since December, the pool has been closed to the public. The popular swimming classes have drained the organization?s financial resources and they simply cannot afford to continue without community support. YWCA representatives are trying to be hopeful about the situation.

Sharon Tillett, Acting Principal, YWCA

?We would like to do the swimming programme because a lot of people look forward to that. Right now we are not too sure, we are having some financial difficulties. We are working towards it but hopefully by the time programme begins, we will see if we could accomplish something there. Right now we are not too sure.?

The YWCA will continue with its educational, sporting and other activities and invite parents to enrol their children.

Sharon Tillett

?We have basketball, volleyball, we have arts and crafts sections, we have food preparation from Gales Point, we have Chinese macramé this year, we have environment tour to Gales Point, we also have a reading programme because you know a lot of children can?t read so we?ll be focussing a lot of reading this year and we also have the day care.?

Most primary schools will close this Friday but some buildings like those of Trinity Methodist Primary School will be used as the venue for other activities, like a P.S.E. Summer Programme for students. Peter Lacey is one of four high school graduates who will be helping children prepare for the examination.

Peter Lacey, Organiser, P.S.E. Programme

The P.S.E. consists of four examinations. We were planning to work on four of these examinations. We are just going to work on two because it?s a very short course, English and Math. So we are going to work on upcoming materials that will be covered in Standard Six.?

As for the business sector, a number of companies, like WorldCom Technologies, will continue with their computer programmes.

Loretta Garcia?Palacio, G.M., WorldCom Technologies

?We?ve been noticing the increase of participation of kids. The parents are very interested. The results of the programme has been very successful. We have kids who have learned to master the computer for their assignment, for just general use and helping them in school. And plus, for the summer it?s a very entertaining event for them. They get to meet to friends, they get to learn new software and it?s an enlightening experience.?

This year for the first time the participants of the WorldCom program will be able to participate in P.C Repair Programme.

With no shortage of summer programmes, parents should have no problem getting their children enrolled in a variety of positive activities. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

All the programmes featured will commence in July. If you would like to enrol your child in any of the activities you can contact the following organizations for costs and information: the YMCA 222?5497, the YWCA 203?4971, WorldCom Technologies 223?3812, and Peter Lacey 203?0086.

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