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Sanibel Recreation Center taking signups for after-school programs

August 1, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI (trepecki@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

As families prepare for the new school year to kick off next week, one task on the checklist may be finding supervised activities for children to participate in once school lets out each day.

The Sanibel Recreation Center offers an After School Program for kindergarteners through fifth-graders and a Teen After School Program for children in sixth through eighth grade. Families can sign up for the full school year or by trimester, with the fall trimester running from Aug. 10 to Nov. 2.

Both programs operate Monday through Friday from 2:10 to 5 p.m.

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The Sanibel Recreation Center offers an After School Program for kindergarteners through fifth-graders and a Teen After School Program for children in sixth through eighth grade.

A healthy snack, physical activity, social interaction with friends and more are included.

"We want to provide a safe and structured environment for the kids to access after school hours," Recreation Director Andrea Miller said. "It helps a lot of parents, families and guardians who work."

Last year, 66 youth took part in the K-5 fall trimester program, with 56 signed up for the winter trimester and 55 participating in the spring trimester. For last year's teen program, 12 youth took part in the fall trimester, 13 registered for the winter trimester and 13 participated in the spring trimester.

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In both programs, the counselors meet the student participants and their teachers every day at The Sanibel School - as it is directly connected to the center. The youth are checked in and accounted for using tablets and a software program, then walked to the center for the after-school programming.

"They rotate through various activities and areas," she said of the K-5 program.

While not tutoring, the children are given quiet time to do their homework.

"They have time in the gymnasium," Miller said. "They have time out on the playground."

"They also will rotate through the game room," she added, noting that the room features basketball, a Wii game console and such. "All that kind of fun stuff they love to play."

Before it starts getting cold, the children also spend time at the center's pool.

"We send home a swimming schedule," Miller said.

In the teen program, the youth take part in activities on and off the property.

"Instead of just always being within the walls of the facilities - because they're older - we work with the various organizations on the island," she said.

They have enjoyed film series at the Island Cinema, visited the Sanibel Public Library to conduct research for homework assignments and participated in educational island beach days in collaboration with the Sanibel Sea School. Transportation for the off-site activities is provided using a city van.

"We've done entry-level conditioning clinics hosted in the center's weight room," Miller said.

Ages 12-13 can use the room with adult supervision, while 14 and up can go it alone.

"We show them how you use the various pieces of equipment, how to use them properly," she said. "All the weight room etiquette and proper safety procedures."

The youth also have use of the center's other after-school amenities.

"The game room, the pool," Miller said. "They also will rotate around on the days they're on the property."

In addition, the teen program offers opportunities for volunteer community service.

"It can be anything from helping to plan projects for the younger kids, assisting the younger kids with completing projects," she said, adding that some choose to get service hours by helping to clean up.

While the programs run until 5 p.m., parent pick-up operates until 5:30 p.m. Miller noted that any families picking up children after 5:30 p.m. will be assessed a late fee after their first warning. The fee is $5 for the first five minutes after 5:30 p.m. and an additional $5 for every 10 minutes after that.

"Everybody runs late or gets stuck in traffic," she said of a warning on the first violation.

Participants must register on or before Aug. 9 to take advantage of the "Early Bird" rates. The registration fees for the After School Program and the Teen After School Program are as follows:

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

Early Bird rates:

- $1,003 for members (full year)

- $335 for members (fall trimester)

- $1,254 for non-members (full year)

- $419 for non-members (fall trimester)

Regular rates:

- $1,204 for members (full year)

- $402 for members (fall trimester)

- $1,505 for non-members (full year)

- $502 for non-members (fall trimester)

TEEN AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

Early Bird rates:

- $525 for members (full year)

- $176 for members (fall trimester)

- $656 for non-members (full year)

- $219 for non-members (fall trimester)

Regular rates:

- $630 for members (full year)

- $211 for members (fall trimester)

- $788 for non-members (full year)

- $263 for non-members (fall trimester)

Miller pointed out that there is no deadline to sign up to participate.

"They can sign up at any time," she said. "We leave that open."

With the trimester option, families can sign up for just part of the school year.

"They absolutely can pick and choose which trimester they want," Miller said, explaining that some students pick up an after-school school activity later in the year. "We have families that do that all the time because of sports practices."

Every registered child also receives a one-year complimentary membership to the center.

"The big perk there is they then qualify for the member rates," she said.

Financial assistance is available for qualifying families based upon individual need. The annual household income ranges and sliding scale for available financial assistance are as follows:

- $0 to $33,500: 80 percent

- $33,501 to $43,500: 75 percent

- $43,501 to $53,500: 70 percent

- $53,501 to $63,500: 65 percent

- $63,501 to $73,500: 60 percent

Applicants must provide proof that they live or work on Sanibel or Captiva. Some additional documents that may be required include a pay stub, W-2 and tax return. The "Financial Assistance Application" can be found at mysanibel.com by first clicking on the "Sanibel Fit4Life" logo.

In addition, F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva is providing partial financial assistance for the first time this year to families whose children attend the after-school programs at the Sanibel Recreation Center.

"Our goal is to help build economic security for families by giving children the opportunity to experience quality care during the after-school hours, when their parent is still at work," F.I.S.H. Program Director Kathy Y. Monroe said in a prepared statement. "The rec after-school program keeps kids safe and introduces them to new friends and activities. Children are placed in age-appropriate groups and take part in a daily rotation of activities that include, but is not limited to, homework time, arts and crafts, physical fitness activities and much more."

Based on need and eligibility, the scholarships amounts may vary depending on a family's financial status and they will only cover a portion of the program's cost. The available funding is limited.

Those wishing to participate must first seek financial assistance through the rec center.

Miller encouraged families to look into the after-school programs.

"One very nice aspect or component of it is the fact that we're physically connected to the school," she said. "It's a very smooth seamless transition - it takes a lot of worry off of your mind."

Also, the cost for care is under $6 per day when the Early Bird rates are utilized.

"It's a very reasonable fee structure," Miller said.

A full schedule will be available at the center's front desk.

For more information, call 239-472-0345 or visit www.mysanibel.com.

For additional information about the partial financial assistance program offered through F.I.S.H. of San-Cap, contact Kathy Y. Monroe or F.I.S.H. social worker Nitza Lopez at 239-472-4775.

The Sanibel Recreation Center is at 3880 Sanibel Captiva Road.

 
 

 

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