Park Elementary Kids' Club fills after-school need


January 16, 2000|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ONE IMMEDIATE benefit to the Brooklyn Heights community's designation as an anti-crime HotSpot will take place on Tuesday when the Kids Club at Park Elementary School has its first meeting.

Sponsored by the county Department of Recreation and Parks, the Kids Club will provide after-school enrichment programs for children in grades four through six.

"Children in these grades can be latch-key kids," said Emily H. Tomasini, teen programs coordinator for the county Department of Recreation and Parks, stressing the importance of quality after-school programs.

"This is not a day-care program. The focus will be on children who would be left alone at home after school. There are different activities planned each day," she said.

Tomasini believes that a key factor in the success of the program will be that the participants decide on their activities.

"We will provide the structure, but they will decide what to do. We hope to get them out into the community," she said.

Activities may include field trips, community service, computer instruction, athletics and hobbies.

The Kids Club is modeled after the Teen Travel and Adventure Club at Lindale-Brooklyn Park Middle School, which also receives funding through the Brooklyn Heights HotSpot initiative because students from the community are enrolled there.

Tomasini said that the middle school students are working on a project concerning substance abuse.

"They researched it, and are working on a program to be presented at the elementary schools. They produced it and wrote it," she said.

The clubs are a hint of what the Department of Recreation and Parks is planning for the community after the opening this fall of the multiuse facility that will house a new Brooklyn Park Middle School and the Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts. The Recreation and Parks Department will occupy both floors of the eastern wing of the building.

Howard Smith, director of North County programs for the department, said the new facility will give it "a presence in the community."

"The second floor will have a dance room and an exercise room. After 3 p.m., we hope to be able to make use of the classrooms in the school," he said.

What types of programs will be offered in Brooklyn Park? Smith says that the department will try to provide anything residents want.

"Ceramics, dance, aerobics, quilting, computers, trips and tours, gymnastics, foreign language -- if the funding comes through, we can offer it," he said.

Residents are being recruited to serve on an advisory panel that will have a voice concerning the programs and be a sounding board for initiatives.

Information: 410-222-7313.

`American Hollow' showing

Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts will be a beneficiary along with Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis from a showing there of the film "American Hollow" at 7: 45 p.m. Jan. 25.

Written and produced by Rory Kennedy, youngest child of Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy, the film chronicles a family's life in rural Appalachia and is being shown in conjunction with a related exhibit of photographs and quilts at Maryland Hall, 801 Chase St.

Rory Kennedy, who will discuss the film at the screening, will be introduced by her sister, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Tickets are $7, and $5 for students.

Information: 410-269-1087.

`Olde BP' town meeting

The Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association will hold its town meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Brooklyn Park Elementary School, 14th Avenue and Morgan Road.

"We won't have a guest speaker," said Arleen Hodges, association president. "It will be a time for members to discuss their overall concerns of the neighborhood and to get the latest info on that is happening."

Information: 410-636-3269 or 410-636-0352.

AIA meeting

Crime in the community will be the topic at a meeting of the Arundel Improvement Association at 8 p.m. Thursday at its hall, 705 Cross St.

All residents are welcome.

Information: 410-789-2192.

`Animal-Rama' program

Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to join musician Norman Hogeland and children's librarian Gloria Bartas at 10 a.m. Tuesday for "Animal-Rama" at the Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

The program is a celebration of animal stories and songs.

The library is at 300 E. Patapsco Ave.

Information: 410-396-1120.


The St. Rose of Lima Home and School Association will sponsor a bingo party Friday in the school hall.

Doors will open at 6: 30 p.m. and games will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $1, with additional bingo cards available at five for a dollar. Cash prizes will be available, and the kitchen will be open. Proceeds support HSA activities. St. Rose School is at 410 Jeffrey St.

Information: 410-355-1050.

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