Miss-Lou offers many activities for children during school break

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Looking for something for your children to do this summer?

The Miss-Lou has a variety of activities, from summer reading to summer camps.

Armstrong Library

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Summer readers will Step to the Beat at the Armstrong Library this summer.

The program, which will combine music with reading, will last for six weeks, starting this week.

Students can register anytime the library is open. Pre-kindergartners through second graders will attend on Tuesdays for an hour and a half and third through sixth graders on Thursday.

Children will set reading goals and receive prizes along the way, said Casey Hughes of the children’s department.

&uot;There’s research showing that kids who maintain reading over the summer have better academic performance in school,&uot; she said.

A different program every week will keep the children interested and learning, Hughes said.

Programs include a magic show, character camp, and a safety lesson, among others. Speakers will include Natchez High students, elected officials and firemen.

In past years the library’s three branches have drawn about 250 children for the program.

Summer camp

Friends of Youth, 1187 Martin Luther King Jr. St., summer program will begin June 7 and continue until June 18.

R.E.A.D.Y. 2004 is a summer camp for students ages 9 to 18 from 3:30 to 6:30 each day. The camp costs $35 per week.

Programs will include academic enrichment, arts and crafts, field trips and athletic challenges.

Students will be able to participate in drama, bowling, skating and horseback riding, among other things.

The camp will also have a lifestyle message focusing on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Natchez Recreation Department

The Natchez Recreation Department will sponsor a number of summer sporting activities for children.

Parents can contact the recreation department for class and registration times for summer swimming lessons.

Three different class times will be available starting at 2 p.m. and running until 5 p.m. Each class will last one hour and 45 minutes. Registration is $20 per week per child.

A junior golf academy will be held from June 8-11 and from July 19-22.

Those interested can contact Marvin Gray at 442-5955 or 443-9199.

Tennis lessons will be the first week in June on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The session will last six weeks. Contact Frankie Spence at 442-1589 for more information.

Concordia Parish Summer Reading Program

Starting June 7 and lasting through July 16, the summer really starts heating up at the Concordia Parish libraries. There will be stories, films, games and fun at the libraries all summer long.

Library director Amanda Taylor said it is important for children to read in the summer to continue learning and increase their reading skills. But summer reading is more recreational than reading during the school time.

&uot;Children can choose what they want to learn about,&uot; Taylor said, because anytime children read they are learning about something new.

This summer, the library will be packed with reading and activities but also with special guests.

Pre-schoolers, including children who will enter kindergarten this coming year, will have their reading time at 9:15 a.m. Elementary school readers, from upcoming first graders to upcoming fifth graders, head to the library at 10:15 a.m. The libraries did not forget about the pre-teens and teenagers; their programs are at 11:15 a.m. throughout the summer.

For elementary children, Storyteller Sylvia Davis will bring her stories at the Ferriday and Vidalia libraries on Thursday, June 10. On Tuesday, June 22, Johnette Downing will bring songs and stories to the Ferriday and Vidalia libraries. Later that same week, Tim and Laura Allured will bring Harvey the Rabbit to Ferriday and Vidalia for their ventriloquist act.

The Snake Man, Terry Vandeventer, will come near the end of the program on Thursday, July 15. The Ferriday programs are at 10:15 a.m. and the Vidalia programs are at 2 p.m.

Teenagers will have different programs with Terri Crawford, LSU home economist, July 5-9; Mike Estes from Bayou Cocodrie on on June 15-18; and Lisa Smith from Concordia Animal Welfare Shelter, who will talk about pet care, on June 29-July 2.

For the teen programs, the guests will be at the Vidalia branch on the Tuesday of their week, Ferriday on Thursday and Clayton on Fridays.

Taylor said the special guests would not be possible without Concordia Bank & Trust Co., which sponsors the guests.

Four of the five days a week, the library has activities throughout the parish. The summer reading program will move to different locations in the parish from day-to-day. On Mondays the program will be run from the Bookmobile at

Concordia Bank & Trust Co. in Monterey. On Tuesdays summer reading will be at the Vidalia library. On Thursdays the program will be at Ferriday and in Clayton on Fridays.


Along with sports teams that are underway and will play throughout the summer, gyms and recreational facilities will be open throughout the summer months to curb students’ boredom.

In Vidalia, recreation district chairman Donald Joseph said the junior high and high school facilities will be open for students to participate this summer. Starting June 7, the gyms, tennis courts, etc. will be open for parents to drop-off their students for some summer activity. The junior high will be open all day whereas the high school, which has a smaller turnout, will be open only from 9 a.m. to noon each day.

The recreation at the school gyms &uot;works in conjunction with the summer lunch program,&uot; Joseph said.

Director Charles Johnson and others will be at the schools to supervise students.

&uot;This gives the parents some place to drop them off,&uot; Joseph said.

And with the newly resurfaced tennis courts in Vidalia, Joseph said there is a possibility there might be private lessons available for students soon.

In Ferriday, recreation director Rydell Turner said this summer will be full of activities at the Florida Street gym.

Basketball will continue and they will be adding flag football, a sport many children in Ferriday have been asking for.

For more information in Ferriday, Turner can be reached at the Ferriday Town Hall at 757-8635.