After School Program Gets Kids Moving

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Haley Way, 9, and Hannah Gadway, 9, put together scrapbooks. (Photo by Marla Hoffman).

By Marla Hoffman 

Students staying after school at Calais Elementary School are getting moving and learning and exercising their creative minds.

Run Monday through Thursday, more than half the children in the school participate, according to Kim McCadden, who runs the program. 

“They do reading, scrap-booking, all sorts of stuff to get them going,” said McCadden.

Some of the activities include Zumba, Legos, story time, arts and crafts, cheering, cupcake decorating, badminton, a walking club, Bouncing Blue Devils and ping pong, among others.

The different activities are monitored by high school teacher Ed Lehman’s Jobs for Maine Grads program. 

“The kids come up and work with out kids on a number of different activities,” said CES Principal Peter Perkins. “It’s a pleasure to have them here and participating in our program,” said Perkins. “We don’t have the funds to do this, so we are happy they can come and volunteer at our school.”

The activities themselves are proving rewarding for the young students. The Bouncing Blue Devils learn basketball drills, and sometimes even get to perform during half time at varsity games, said Perkins.

The after school homework club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Teachers stay after to help students with their homework or answer any questions they have,” said Perkins. 

“What we do is not a babysitting service,” Perkins said. “These kids are coming here to participate and have a great time. They really look forward to it each semester. They just love it.”

One of the most popular activities is Legos. “There is a huge tote of Legos,” Perkins said. “Kids build all sorts of things on their own and many work together if they want. It’s by far our most popular this year.”

Volunteers Mariah Howard and Cassandra Day read stories to children in the after school program.  (Photo by Marla Hoffman).

Students in the gym at Calais Elementary School participate in basketball drills. (Photo by Marla Hoffman).