Program keeps kids moving on holidays

Tripp Lewis, a physical education teacher at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, serves as a coordinator of the Schools Closed Fun Day program sponsored by Warren County Parks and Recreation in Front Royal. Lewis was organizing participants for a kickball game during their spring break. The program is held in the Warren County Health & Human Services Gym on 15th Street in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – A few dozen Warren County children took advantage this week of a recreational program offered during school breaks.

The Department of Parks and Recreation held its Schools Closed Gym’s Open Fun Day at the Health and Human Services Complex gymnasium, 465 W. 15th St., Front Royal – the former 15th Street school – through Thursday.

The department plans to hold the final Fun Day for the school year at the center on May 5. The program runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is open to children ages 7 to 15.

Approximately 30 children participated in the program Wednesday, Tripp Lewis, a physical education teacher at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, said that afternoon as he proctored the activities. Children played basketball, volleyball and kick ball in the gymnasium. Others played pool or video games in a side room. Children go to the Book Nook to read, sleep, make crafts or play Legos and other games, Lewis said.

Children remain inside during the day though coordinators could take them outside as a group on nicer days, Lewis said.

D.J. Rizzo, 11, of Front Royal, sights in his cue ball while playing pool during the Schools Closed Fun Day program. Rich Cooley/Daily

Participants played basketball most often among other sports in the gym but the children control much of the day’s activities.

“It’s definitely free choice,” Lewis said. “We try to start new games and if they want to play then they can come together but they still have opportunities to go to different sections.”

Lewis described the program as a type of active daycare that keeps participants moving and changing games and activities throughout the day.

“I mean, they’re wore out,” Lewis said.

The department charges a $5 registration per child each day. Participants receive a wristband that allows them to come in and out at no extra charge. Children must have a permission slip signed by a parent to attend. Permission slips are available at the community center, 538 Villa Ave.

Joshua Evetts,11, practices his dribbling skills during the Schools Closed Fun Day program. Rich Cooley/Daily

Anyone interested in the program can contact Tiffany Walker the Warren County Community Center at 635-1021 or via email at twalker@warrencountyva.net.

The department plans to offer a Run, Jump and Throw Summer Camp this June through August at the complex. Information on the summer initiative is available at  www.warrencountyva.net/youth-fitness-programs.html.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com