TROY — In cooperation with the United Way of Troy, the City of Troy Recreation Department is continuing its decades-long tradition of the summer Playground Program, now being held five days a week through Wednesday, July 20.
Each summer, children ages 6-12 can enjoy supervised recreation at school playgrounds and municipal playspaces. The program is held from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Kings Chapel Park, Boyer Park, and at the Cookson, Heywood, Hook and Kyle elementary school buildings.
Thanks to funding by the United Way of Troy through the city’s recreation department, the program is completely free to participants.
Cathy Lawson, volunteer at the Cookson Elementary location, feels the program is beneficial due to its malleability to the scheduling needs of each participant.
“We have some that only come on certain days, because of babysitting or transportation issues,” Lawson said. “These really are great kids, and it’s a good way for them to spend the afternoons that they have free.”
Every Friday, participants at each location go on a special field trip to recreational landmarks within the area. This year’s program is offering an interactive visit with COSI as a new addition, scheduled to meet with participants from all six locations at the Heywood Elementary location on Friday, June 29.
“So far, we’ve gone to the Troy Aquatic Park, and we’ve gone bowling.” Lawson said. “This week, we’ll be going to the Hobart Arena ice skating rink. It offers not only different athletic things for kids to do, but also educational things that the children are exposed to.”
Each site is staffed with playground supervisors or leaders, including high school or college students, who are encouraged to sign up. Supervisors at each location assist in coordinating indoor and outdoor activities for kids. Approximately 20 leaders are supervising this year’s Playground Program.
“I love working with the kids,” said Cookson Elementary supervisor Maegan Titterington. “It’s great seeing their smiles.”
“It’s great getting out here and meeting new kids,” said first-year Cookson Elementary supervisor Marina Weldon. “It keeps them active and keeps them social. They’re not cooped up inside, and it keeps them in touch with kids their own age.”
Tricia Hannahs, program coordinator, said approximately 50-60 students have participated in the program so far this year.
“There’s still time for parents to sign their students up,” Hannahs said. “It’s a fun interactive way for children to spend their summers, and they don’t necessarily have to be from the Troy area. If children are in to stay with their grandparents or visit friends, they’re welcome to sign up, too.
Hannahs also indicated that the program is equally rewarding for participating supervisors.
“For college students who are interested in pursuing careers in education, counseling, or anything to do with children, this is a great thing to put on a resume.,” Hannahs said. “It’s a good opportunity for teachers or parents looking to earn extra income as well.”
The United Way of Troy allocates $20,000 for the program each year to pay location supervisors and provide special outings for participants. To sign up online, visit the recreation department at www.troyohio.gov or visit City of Troy Recreation Department on Facebook.