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Carthage recreation program keeps kids busy over break

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CARTHAGE — The beginning of the midwinter recreation program at Carthage Park didn’t look promising.

Nobody showed up Monday or Tuesday, said Joanne M. Lazore, who runs the Carthage summer, spring and winter recreation programs.

It soon picked up, though, as children came to take advantage of the indoor activities at the recreation building and the sledding as snow fell Friday.

“We provide arts and crafts and supervised area of play,” Mrs. Lazore said, “so parents can drop their children off and know that they will be supervised.”

Mrs. Lazore said the mild weather has hurt some of the recreation programs because more snow means more children going sledding and doing other winter activities at the park. She will provide hot chocolate and sandwiches on weekends occasionally to those taking advantage of any snowfall.

Chastity M. Turk, 9, was excited to go sledding in Carthage Park “because we finally got some snow,” she said. Even though she wasn’t there for the recreation program, she did sled with several of the children who were there for the program.

Sierra L. Hickos, 9, enjoyed the arts and crafts available as she painted a star decoration for her house. Other children were painting pictures and stars of their own.

Mrs. Lazore said the summer recreation program is the most popular, but she is seeing more children take advantage of the spring break and midwinter break programs as well. She said she’ll report back to village officials after break and believes there will be activities again during spring break.

The building at Carthage Park also has a pool table and an air hockey table for the youths. The program is more than a decade old, with Mrs. Lazore running it the last five years, and she said she enjoys working with children.

“I get the kids involved in taking care of the rec building,” Mrs. Lazore said. She added that the children enjoy helping to clean up after the activities are done.

She said she hopes to see more families take advantage of the village-sponsored program that is free to the public.

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