AFTER SCHOOL Community Ed offers choices for parents

August 27, 2005

Back-to-school time is looming, and Community Education wants to remind parents about the programs it has during the school year.

Prime Time is an after-school program for elementary school children that provides a safe, supervised place for them to be until the parent gets off work. The structured program involves games, crafts, assistance with homework, nutritious snacks, and a safe place to play.

“We want to make sure the kids are safe after school,” says Mike Schend, director. “Lots of research has shown that there is a much lower percentage of kids who get in trouble, such as with drugs or alcohol, when they are supervised than when they go home to an empty house.”

The program has been in place for years and has been well-received, he says, but many parents still are not aware of it.

May Street, Westside and Mid Valley elementary schools all have Prime Time programs, and Parkdale’s students can be bused to Mid Valley. Each site can handle from 50-55 students, but once the quota has been reached, it can’t take any more. The ratio of staff to kids is 1:15 and schedules are dictated by the parents’ needs. Hourly rates are just $2.05 for full-time students, and $2.20 for part-time.

* There is also a Prime Time program at May Street School for half-day kindergarten students. Children may stay in the program until the end of the regular school day or even choose to remain in the after-school care program as well. Westside students may ride the bus over to May Street after morning kindergarten. The hourly rate is based upon the number of days per week a child attends. This will be a fee-based program and must support itself.

* Community Ed also offers a program for preschool children, Little Learners, taught in the Coe Primary Building. It is for children ages 3-5 and has been developed with the individual child in mind. Taught by Angela Klein, a child development specialist, the program will use stories, music, imaginative play, social games, and arts and crafts to give the kids a variety of skills that will prepare them for school.

* The children will enjoy daily outdoor activities, weather permitting, and healthy snacks that they may even prepare themselves. Parents may choose from either a two or three day per week program and either morning or afternoon sessions, or both. Children entering the program for the first time must have all immunizations up to date.

There will be an open house Thursday, Sept. 1, from 6-7:30 in the Coe Building, giving parents a chance to see the classroom, meet the teacher, and socialize with other parents and children.

The cost for Little Learners Preschool is $70 per month for 2 days/week, and $100/month for 3 days/week. To register for either Prime Time or Little Learners, call Community Ed at 386-2055.

For more information or to learn about other Community Ed programs, visit:

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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