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Murfreesboro rec program moves forward

MURFREESBORO – Elementary school-aged children in Murfreesboro will soon have the option to participate in the town’s new afterschool recreation program.

Council member Berna Stephens and the town’s Recreation Intern Shaquila James updated the Council here Wednesday during their regular meeting.

Last month, Stephens presented the proposal from James to the Council who then voted unanimously to approve the idea which will give local children recreational activity options outside of the sports programs already offered. Since the approval, the recreation committee has been busy working out the details to get the program started.

James explained they will start out by hosting the program at Riverview Elementary School from 3:30-5:30 p.m. every Monday through Thursday with the exception of holidays and school closures. The program will be free, and children will have to get parents to sign a permission form to participate. Chowan University students will staff the program, but one of Riverside’s principals will also be there at all times.

James, who is a Chowan University student herself, said they also hoped to work with the NAACP on the program in the future.

A parent orientation is currently scheduled for Nov. 5 which will mark the beginning of the new afterschool program.

The biggest stipulation so far is about pick-up each day. After speaking with school officials, the recreation committee decided if a child is picked up late more than three times, then that student will have to take a break from the program.

“We don’t really want to put them completely out of it,” Stephens noted.

Mayor Hal Thomas asked about the activities which will be offered with the program.

Stephens answered there will be tutoring, games, and plenty of other activities.

She also added, “We’re looking forward to inviting speakers that would relate to their studies or healthy eating, because we know childhood diabetes is bad in this area.”

Murfreesboro received a grant from Vidant to help make this program possible, Stephens said, so they want to make sure the afterschool program focuses on healthy living.

Stephens has already talked with the principals at Riverside, as well as Hertford County’s School Superintendent, and all were supportive of the program. There hasn’t been an afterschool program at the elementary school in a few years, Stephens added, “so that’s the reason the principals are so excited about it.”

In addition to this afterschool program, Stephens reported the flag football program run by Tony Brooks had just recently gotten underway and is going well so far.

“We’ll keep you updated,” Stephens concluded.