By Helena Rodriguez: PNT correspondent
A summer library program that stresses more than reading, a recreation program that stresses more than sports, and a kids college that does more than keep kids busy.
These options may answer the question of “What do we do with the kids this summer?”
Come Monday, three summer programs will open their doors to Portales area youth, offering a full-range of structured activities designed to be fun and educational.
The Portales Public Library kicks off its “Be Creative” summer reading program for children in preschool up to high school, with activities ranging from Puppeteers, Music & Movement, reading Bingo and even an “Express Yourself” program just for teens.
The Kids College program also begins Monday at Eastern New Mexico University in the Technology Building, offering a different theme of activities each week for children ages 6 to 12. Among the weekly themes are “It’s All Beachy,” “Super Heroes Week” and “Under the Big Top.”
Also on Monday, the Portales Recreation Center kicks off its summer Kids N Motion program. It will be conducted under two different sessions for children who will be incoming kindergartners in the fall, up to 18 year olds.
The recreation center summer program includes a wide range of activities throughout June and July, including a morning sports program, guitar lessons, hula hoop dancing, local field trips and even Just For Boys and Just For Girls activities, plus much more.
Portales Public Library Summer Program
Registration begins Monday at 10 a.m. and continues through noon for the library’s free summer ‘Be Creative” program for children in pre-kindergarten (Ages 3) up to sixth grade and for the library’s “Express Yourself” program for teens.
Amongst the library’s summer programs which begin at 10:30 a.m. are:
• Portales Puppeteers — For grades 2-6, meets every Monday.
• Arts Masters — For grades K-6, meet every Tuesday.
• Preschool Storytime — For ages 3 to second grade meets on Wednesdays.
Storytime will include stories, fingerplays, songs and a short craft.
• Guest Artists — For all ages, meets every Thursday (songs, stories and dance)
• Music N Movement — For Pre-K to Grade 2, meets on Fridays. The Teen programs for grades six to 12, will be held at 2 p.m. every Thursday. Also, pre-school storytimes are repeated on Thursday night at 6 p.m.
All children under 10 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian at all times.
The “Express Yourself” program for teens will include a teen essay contest, titled “What is Your Picture of America,” a weekly book discussion group and will include weekly themes such as expressing yourself through art, expressing yourself through music and expressing yourself through photography.
The library will also have a summer reading incentive program.
Children can keep a record of their summer reading and for every two hours of reading they complete, they will get a prize.
Also, at the end of the summer, Christiansen said a name will be drawn for a MP3 player giveaway.
Eastern New Mexico University Kids College
Registration is currently under way for Eastern New Mexico University’s annual summer Kid’s College which begins Monday and runs each week day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages six to 12.
The cost is $70 per week, per child, or $560 for the entire eight-week session which runs from June 1 to July 24.
The Kids College can accept up to 30 students in each age group. The age groups are divided according to the following ages: 6-7, 8-10 and 11-12.
Lunches will be provided by the Portales Free Lunch Program and Kids College will provide afternoon snacks.
Children will also be taken on field trips to area spots such as Casel-Land Fun Center and Ned Houk Park in Clovis.
Information: ENMU Office of Distance Education and Outreach in Quay Hall, Room 106 or call 562-2165.
Portales Recreation Center Summer Program
The Portales Recreation Center’s Summer Program begins at 10 a.m. on Monday and runs each weekday during its two, four-week sessions, which run through July 31.
There is also a separate sports program that will run from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. each weekday.
These programs include tennis, which will meet at the high school tennis courts by the junior high, and soccer, which will meet at the Portales Soccer Complex.
There will also be a one-week only track-clinic the week of June 1-5 at the high school track field.
Andi Copenhaver, director of the summer program, said the recreation center can accept up to 100 children who will be incoming kindergartners in the fall up to age 18.
The cost is $150 per child per four-week session with small discounts for parents enrolling multiple children. The first session runs from June 1-26 and the second session is from July 6-31. There are extra fees for the 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. sports programs.
Mike Doerr, one of the summer program directors, will teach Spanish, in addition to soccer and tennis and the Just for Boys Class. As a part of the Spanish language class he is teaching, he said, “We will look at the Spanish heritage of Portales and how the Latin culture is all around us.”
He added, “Of course, we will take it slow and make it fun for the kids.”
Among the other summer classes to be offered are beginning guitar, painting, reading, science, arts in the park, wrestling, pickle ball and a variety of dance classes, including hula hoop, music and movement and world dance. Students will also take local field trips. Lunches will be provided by La Casa de Buena Salud.
Information: Portales Recreation Center at 356-8598.