Do you know where your children or grandchildren will be this summer? Do you want their days to be active, enlightening and just plain fun? Please read further to learn about the program we offer Monday through Friday, 11:30am-5:30pm at the Courthouse from July 5 through August 12.
Lunch, Learn & Play is a free summer program for all area youth, kindergarten through sixth grade.
It serves about 140 children from Salem and the towns nearby each summer. It is a six-week program, five days per week and six hours per day. Combined with the Town of Salem’s morning Swim Program, it gives working parents a safe, healthy, educational place for their children to enjoy for the entire day. (The daily, morning Salem Swim Program at Lake Lauderdale is not a part of Lunch, Learn & Play but busing is available from Lauderdale to the Courthouse in time for LL&P.) LL&P takes place in the Youth Barn and on the side yard at the Courthouse site. Offsite venues include field trip sites and on community walks.
The youth enjoy a nutritious lunch and snack each day prepared in the Battenkill Kitchen. They visit the Courthouse Community Garden and local farms to see where their food comes from. They spend most of their time outdoors in the fresh air with great teachers and counselors, making new friends and practicing good social skills. Local individuals and organizations present over 80 educational, creative, informational, fun activities for the children over the summer.
New Kindergarten Program
Lunch, Learn & Play recently received a grant from LARAC (Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council) and Holy Cross Church of Salem to implement a special program for all rising kindergartners. In coordination with Salem Elementary School and Principal Jane Lourie, two Salem teachers and several local artists will provide hours of activities for kindergartners only. It will be a unique and separate experience with counselors and teachers concentrating exclusively on them. Salem kindergarten teacher, Paula Bourgeois and Salem literacy teacher, Valeda McLenithan will guide LL&P teachers, counselors and local artists as they present activities to raise socialization and literacy capabilities..
Within the new kindergarten effort, several artists and teachers arrive to offer a variety of programming in the areas of music, math, puppetry, book-making, painting, literature and science. One special focus will be a nature study with children’s book author and artist, Virginia Lynn Anderson. Under her supervision, the young participants will put together their very own books! We are excited to offer this program this summer. The teachers and administrators at Salem Elementary are thankful for the opportunity at LL&P to help the kindergartners get ready for the beginning of the school in the fall.
1st-4th Grade Program
Coming to our largest group of youngsters is a strong and varied program. Many art and literacy activities continue – designing with math, Music from Salem concerts, daily visits to the Bancroft library, book-making, murals, creative writing, puppets, etc. Also, classes in archery, fly tying, nutrition, Native American influences in our area, managing money, dance and movement. We look forward to this year’s balloon launch, farm tours, sports games, visiting pets and the opportunity to sit on and in large trucks! Many Salem business owners and local residents provide super experiences for our kids.
5th and 6th Grade Initiative
This summer will mark the third year of a separate program for our older youth in grades 5 and 6. Several of their experiences will be off-site. Sewing classes are at Salem school under the guidance of instructor, Bev Kratzert. A river study, art and nature projects will take place at The Georgi on the Battenkill in Shushan. Science director Chris Hubbard and staff will provide a two-week study and work project (along with a camp-out) at Merck Forest & Farmland Center. Salem Art Works artists will again provide a program each week at their location. Chef Michael Mahar will head a cooking class and Lily Loveday, a dance and movement class.