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Mon, March 30

Williams Summer Rec to start June 1
Field trips, movies, games, talent show and other activities offered at Summer Rec program

Mary Murders, Jazlyn Romero and Cayla Fritsinger enjoy the pool at the Williams Aquatic Center during a Summer Splash Rec Program outing. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Mary Murders, Jazlyn Romero and Cayla Fritsinger enjoy the pool at the Williams Aquatic Center during a Summer Splash Rec Program outing. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Kids in Williams can stay busy this summer while having fun at the Williams Summer Rec Program.

The program starts on June 1 and continues through July 31 at the Williams Youth Recreation Center, 300 W. Railroad Ave. The Williams Summer Rec Program is for kids ages 6-13 and takes place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Recreation Director Rose Newbold said the program is an important asset to Williams youth and parents.

"We do this not as a money making situation in any way, shape or form," she said. "It's a service to the community and is something that the community really looks forward to."

Newbold expects anywhere between 60 and 110 kids to attend the program each day this summer.

Kids in the program have two swim days and will go on nine field trips this summer. Transportation for the program is provided through an inter-governmental agreement with Williams School District. Field trips include going to a bowling alley, a movie theater, Freedom Station amusement park and a free trip to Bearizona.

"Our first field trip is to Bearizona," Newbold said. "They have accommodated a no charge for one to two bus loads of children for a field trip to Bearizona every year, since they've been there."

When the kids aren't swimming or on a field trip, they can play basketball, tetherball, badmittion, foursquare, use hula-hoops, jump ropes, play board games and go to the skate park.

"We actually rent out a theater because we have that many children," Newbold said. "We base everything we do with the kids on fun. It's not an educational component, so they don't feel like they're going to summer school. We do make them behave and be nice to each other."

In addition, the participants can do crafts and play games like bingo and minute to win it. A talent show, luau, pajama day and pets on parade are also planned.

"We all have a special luau and we all wear grass skirts and be goofy," Newbold said. "The annual talent show has become a huge ordeal, we have kids that get up and sing like they're at American Idol and we have kids that hula hoop just enough that it brings tears to your eyes."

There are seven staff members working the Summer Rec Program, including three teachers from Williams' School District. Newbold said being a teacher and working the summer program offers teachers and students an opportunity to relax.

"The school is, of course, educational and structured, and (teacher's) requirements as an educator are much different than providing a fun atmosphere," she said. "Here they get to come and create fun things."

Parents are also provided with information from North Country Health Care about programs offered to families and parents.

"Sometimes there are needy people out there that don't realize what is available to them," Newbold said. "Working for the city, one thing I've always strived to do is figure out how we can touch every person that needs to be touched in some manner and make sure they know it's here or where to go."

Additionally, the Civitan Foundation will provide free nutritional lunches and an afternoon snack for Summer Rec Program participants. The free lunches are also available to community members who are in need of a meal.

"If there are people that are hungry in town, they can come here between noon and 1 p.m. on Monday through Friday and they...would be given food," Newbold said.

Parents can register their children one time and then bring them to the Rec center five days a week for the nine-week program.

The cost is $5 per day, plus the price of field trips. The total cost for the entire program plus field trips is $251. Multi-child family discounts are available.

Registration packets are available at the Rec Center. More information is available at (928) 635-1496.

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