It can be noisy during the afternoon at Toledo’s Flowerree Community Center, but it that happy sort of noise that comes from children playing and learning. The Center’s after-school program is small but growing, and a recent grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund will enable the program to operate until June, according to program coordinator Maygen Blessman. She is hopeful that by the time school is out, the program will be in full swing, and can make a natural transition to the Toledo summer program, which operated last year out of Arcadia School. Blessman continues to recruit additional students for the program. There are currently 11 attending, but room for 25-30. And, with adult volunteers, the number could be larger. “I would love to have more kids,” she said, especially because of the homework help the program offers. “As a parent, I have to say the program takes ‘the homework battle’ out of the picture,” Blessman said. There is a separate quiet area for students to study, and help is available in areas they find challenging.
Amber Sunde said her daughter Ayla really enjoys attending “because she can get more play time with other kids.” Blessman said social time is important for school age children, and she hopes that home-school students will take advantage of the program as well. Recruitment efforts will continue around upcoming parent-teacher conferences, and continued notices to children at Toledo Elementary about its availability. Meanwhile, the children are currently working on writing their own play, devising the plot and characters, and making costumes and props. To reach Blessman or certified teacher Rebecca Wright call the Flowerree Community Center at 541-336-2301.