June 10, 2008 · Updated 4:12 PM
t M&M kids never take
a break from education.
Last week may have been spring break, but not for the Martha & Marys Kids Club.
While North Kitsap School District staff and students enjoyed a vacation, it was business as usual at the M&M Kids Club, which operates 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
We have a full-year program and we work when schools are off, said Mike Birge, M&M Kids Club program coordinator. We provide a service for the community. Our focus is children and working parents and we want to be that gap.
Birge said M&M spent weeks planning for spring break. When the time arrived, they were ready.
The 50 to 60 students who turned out during the vacation week were treated to a variety of fun-filled activities.
Board and computers games, snacks and recesses, an all-day excursion to Raab Park, art projects, a talent show and practicing a dance routine were just a few items on the M&M spring break menu.
We did a really cool art project, planted some sunflower seeds in the soil and we play awesome games, said M&M kid Courtney Graves. And we went to Raab Park for one of the funnest field trips ever.
Birge said there are children who dont want to leave at the end of the day because of all the fun theyre having. And there are kids who come busting through the doors each morning, barely able to contain their excitement as they look forward to sharing and reconnecting with a buddy.
Its easy to see why the students would rather be at school during spring break than on vacation. A look inside the Vinland Elementary M&M Kids Club site last week showed smiles, laughter, and the remnants of educational, yet entertaining, projects.
Its better (than school) because you actually get to have fun instead of staying in the classroom, said M&M kid Grace Taylor.
Topping the list of amusing activities was learning how to dance a little hip hop. The students spent the week learning a routine to present at Fridays talent show.
The dance routine is lots of fun, Grace said. I like the Charlie. She then raised her hands and crazily waved them around her face to demonstrate the dance move.
On Wednesday afternoon the students were diligently practicing the routine, as they formed two rows in the Vinland lunch room and got their groove on.
When we count the music we count in eights, said dance instructor Megan Henderson, as she began to snap her fingers.
Shortly thereafter, all the students began to snap along. Then came the toe taps, shoulder rolls, head nods, side shimmies, kicks and of course a little hip movement.
I like to do hip hop and shes (Henderson) a really good teacher, Courtney said. Shes good at showing us how to do it. Its really fun.
M&M also hosts an entire summer program so working moms and dads arent left searching for sitters. Throughout the summer kids will once again be treated to a smorgasbord of mentally, physically and socially stimulating activities. Birge said a field trip is planned nearly every other day and every Friday is swimming day. In the past M&M kids have traveled to Seattle, Tacoma and Sequim. Theyve visited the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Aquarium, the Childrens Museum, hiked Hurricane Ridge and even took in a few minor league baseball games.
The summer festivities are so captivating, Birge said some M&M kids actually plan their days around what activities are offered.
Its almost like they put their lives on hold and build it around some of the activities were going on, he said. Theres things they dont want to miss.
M&M is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981. Today it offers day care programs to more than 1,000 children in Poulsbo, Silverdale, and the surrounding Kitsap area. Just this year M&M expanded its before and after school programs to the Central Kitsap School District with sites at Cougar Valley and Clear Creek elementary schools.
Were always looking to expand and see whats available, Birge said.
To learn more about Martha & Mary and the programs it offers visit the Web site, www.marthaandmary.org or call the main office at (360) 394-4089.