By NICOLE JACQUES
With the end of the school year, the Plainville Recreation Department is preparing for another summer packed with activities throughout Norton Park and across town. This year’s recreation guide offers a variety of returning programs, as well as a few new classes that have already attracted the attention of many during registration.
Beginning directly after the last day of school, parents will find a variety of programs designed to keep children entertained. Norton Park will be the hub for a majority of the programs scheduled this summer.
Day camps at the park, one of the most popular programs offered by Plainville Recreation, began June 28 and last two weeks per session. Four sessions will be offered this year, and will be held at the pavilion for children ages 7 to 11 years old and at the band shell for children ages 3 1/2 to 6 years old.
Several courses also will be held at the Elizabeth A. Berner Pool, located in the north-west corner of the park.
Swim lessons, redeveloped this year under a program hosted by the Red Cross, are available at multiple levels for children ages 4 and up. The popular PCA program (Parent-Child Aquatics), where parents join their young children in learn-to-swim class, also will return to Berner Pool this year.
Assistant Recreation Director and Aquatic Director Kim Crowley said aquatics programs at Norton Park provides a great service to the community.
“Swimming lessons is a life skill and I’m so glad that the Town of Plainville teaches them,” Crowley said.
In the coming years, Crowley said she expects aquatic programs to gain even more popularity. With the aid of a Connecticut grant obtained by Plainville’s state representative Elizabeth Boukus (D-Plainville, New Britain), the Recreation Department is currently developing plans to build a Splash Pad at Paderewski Park. The pad is set to be completed next year, and would model that of others in Bristol and New Britain area parks.
Crowley said the new addition, as well as other programs being held this year, will add to a tradition of programs that have the important task of keeping kids active throughout the summer.
“Today, with so much technology, the kids need to get off the couch and out of their little boxes that they’re into and converse with other kids,” Crowley said. Crowley said these programs succeed in keeping children busy.
Summer programs are only part of what Plainville does to take care for children in the community, Crowley says.
Free summer meals, a program offered through the State Department of Education’s End Hunger Connecticut initiative, once will again provide lunch to kids and teens ages 18 and under near the Norton Park Band Shell weekdays through Aug. 15. New this year, children also will be able to receive a free breakfast at Veteran’s Memorial Park (next to the recreation office side entrance) during the summer months.
For parents looking for ways to keep their teens involved this summer, the Town of Plainville’s Youth Services Department (which works closely with Recreation services) also has established a number of programs that will run on weekdays from July through August. Programs include community service opportunities, arts and craft activities, and group day trips.
Roberta Brown, director of Plainville Youth Services, says the activities provide excellent low cost opportunities for young adults.
“It’s a way for [teens] to be with other kids their age [and] have community service in a fun setting with others,” Brown said.
In the meantime, adults looking to get active themselves can also participate in activities through the Recreation Department this summer. Zumba, one of the most popular adult programs, is offered for a small fee at the Norton Park Pavilion through August. An adult-only yoga class will be also offered at Plainville Public Library through July.
Registration for all summer programs is currently in session and will continue throughout the length of the summer. To register for a program, visit the Plainville Recreation and Youth Services office located at 50 Whiting Street during office hours.
For more information on any of these programs, contact the Recreation Department at (860)747-6022 or Plainville Youth Services at (860)793-0221.
By NICOLE JACQUES