There are many helping hands at Parley’s Park Elementary
Some students go home after school, but others stay behind for an afternoon of reading, games and community service.
The after-school program at Parley’s Park, taught by Cherie Goodliffe, gives working parents and opportunity to finish their day without worrying about what to do with their children once school is over. It runs Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Students take a variety of field trips including the Hogle Zoo, ice skating at the new ice rink, swimming, and climbing at Rockreation.
Fifth-grader Max Kunz enjoys these excursions.
"I liked going to the Hogle Zoo. I liked the penguins and they like to peck on the glass," he said.
The class also gets outdoors to enjoy some classic winter activities.
"Every year we have gone cross- country skiing at Soldier Hollow," Goodliffe said.
She prefers to have a maximum of 15 students at one time. On average they start out with 14 students and their numbers dwindle as it gets later and parents come to pick up their children.
Goodliffe structures their activities with a daily schedule that includes reading, games, rest and relaxation. Once a week she will give them a computer activity and once a month the students enjoy a movie with popcorn.
Service activities are also stressed during the after-school program, and oftentimes the children are working to benefit Parley’s Park Elementary School.
"We have cleaned the playground," Goodliffe said.
On a Friday afternoon the students took two and a half hours to fill at least five full-sized trash bags after picking up trash on their playground. Goodliffe held a contest among the students to see who could pick up the most garbage. She also asked students to sort through what they picked up and recycle everything possible.
Around Christmas time the students helped with a Sub for Santa project for Workforces Services. They collected books, scarves, hats, boots and gloves. Then Goodliffe had a gift-wrapping party and let them package their gifts.
They also consistently try to help school staff. They have labeled P.E. balls so each class knows which balls are theirs.
"We help the custodians put up chairs whenever there’s an evening performance," Goodliffe said.
Llast Thursday afternoon the students helped clean windows. Nine students watched Goodliffe demonstrate how to use Windex and a Squeegee. They were all eager to get their spray bottles with blue window cleaner.
When Goodliffe asked if they wanted to have a contest to see who could finish first she received a resounding "no" from students.
First-grader Gillman Everett, who likes to play Chutes and Ladders, enjoys washing windows.
"You get to get sprayed with wet water," he said.
Fellow first-grader Gabriella Snow liked everything about it but wrinkled her nose at the smell of window cleaner.
"It smells really bad," she said.
Max is just happy to lend a helping hand.
"As long as I know I’m doing something good for this environment then I like it," he said.
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