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Holyoke Happenings reports success PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Holyoke Happenings was the name coined by Trisha Herman, the director of Phillips County Family Education Services, for the community guide that was developed and distributed at the schools and around the town of Holyoke this May.

The idea of having one resource for parents, grandparents and for new community members to look at to know all the activities going on in Holyoke and in Phillips County was patterned after a similar design in the town of Haxtun.

Family Education Services board members Kellie Race and Linda Jelden worked with Herman to form a partnership with other community entities to support the development of the guide. Part of their vision was to include more opportunities for children over the summer to learn something new and to keep active.

Therefore, CSU Extension partnered with the committee to develop the summer activities for children by contacting volunteers in the community. The City of Holyoke and the Phillips County Commissioners showed their support of the guide and program by donating $300 each to the project.

These funds were crucial to cover printing costs and to support the summer courses for the children.

Volunteer assistant Kellie Race helps Jillian Warren, at left, and Shianne Willmon use measuring cups while Andrea Marquez, at right, looks on during the Kids Culinary Camp.

The courses started May 18 and continued through July 23. Each of the courses was taught by a volunteer in the community with the expertise or experience in the area of the course title. Dates, times and cost were determined by the volunteers and committee members.

The courses offered were: Kid Phit, a course focused on nutrition, food preparation and fitness through activity; Weather; Natural Resources; Outdoor Adventures; Batiks Art; Rocketry; Kids Culinary Camp; Grow a Row; Jewelry Beading; Gear Tech 21 Camp for Robotics and GPS; and Crochet.

The volunteer instructors for these courses were Jack Wieland, Dan Kafka, Julie Elliott, Sheila Johnson, Diana Green of Haxtun, Nancy Dee of Haxtun and Dennis Herman.

Extension horticulturist Linda Langelo shared her expertise of growing plants with children with the Grow a Row course. Kid Phit, Kids Culinary Camp and the Gear Tech 21 camp were also sponsored by Extension.

The Carriage House Assisted Living Facility partnered with the program by offering a new location to have a few classes that might also interest some of the residents.

Altogether 42 children from Holyoke and surrounding communities participated in the courses offered through the Holyoke Happenings-SUMR FUN 4U guide.

Students displaying their rockets that survived launch day are pictured from left, Ethan Andersen, Jesse Vasa, Shianne Willmon and Remington Hielscher.

As mentioned earlier, the guide offered a “one stop” spot for people to go to as they wanted to know what was “happening” in town over the summer. The listings in the Holyoke Happenings guide included: baseball and softball schedules, vacation Bible school schedules for all local churches, athletic camp schedules for the junior high and high school, summer reading program at the library and special event schedules like Dandelion Days, Phillips County Fair and Haxtun Corn Festival.

In addition, it included pool hours and swim lesson schedules. Since the pool is closed on Mondays, the Peerless Center Movie Theater put on free movies for kids starting at 2 p.m. Fun kid favorites included Finding Nemo, Cars, Cars 2, Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon.

Kids were able to purchase snacks at the snack bar and enjoy a cool afternoon in the theater.

Many parents commented on how they thought it was so “neat” or “great” that children could have fun, educational activities over the summer. Comments like, “We have really needed something like this,” were among the sentiments of parents and grandparents.

So, with the positive comments, positive community participation of volunteers and children, this is clearly a service and program that will continue as each summer arrives.

The Holyoke Happenings Committee, CSU Extension and Phillips County Education Services are appreciative all of those that participated or supported the project in any way.

Those who may have a suggestion for future guides or courses can contact the CSU Extension office at 854-3616 or email Tracy Trumper at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Holyoke Enterprise Aug. 23, 2012