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Archive for Sunday, September 20, 1998

GROUP ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNGSTERS IN LAWRENCE RUN THE GAMUT.

September 20, 1998

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The variety of recreation activities for children in Lawrence is complete enough to include after-school instruction in shibori, which is the Japanese art of textile dyeing.

That's one of the more exotic offering of the Lawrence Arts Center, where a full range of arts activities for children is offered at minimal cost.

``We have printmaking, drawing, ceramics, sculpting, basket weaving, cartooning, drama, dance, all kinds of arts, even shibori,'' said Ellen Williams, the center's education director.

Lawrence Arts Center is at 200 W. Ninth. For information, call 843-2787.

There also are a large number of children's activities available at no or low cost through the city's parks and recreation department.

The department maintains about 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. It also has facilities especially designed for BMX biking and skating.

``We've got dance classes like ballet. We've got art classes,'' said Kathy Fode, recreation superintendent. ``We have the Sunflower Sweethearts dance team, which competes with teams from other cities. New this year is a junior varsity cheer-dance team for seventh-graders.''

The department offers a gymnastics program in conjunction with Kansas University.

``We start out with tumbling for boys and girls beginning at age 2,'' Fode said.

There are youth basketball clinics and tournaments and leagues and swimming. In the winter there is indoor soccer

Then there are special events such as the Sept. 26 fishing derby at Mary's Lake and the Halloween contest in which kids are allowed to paint the windows of downtown businesses in ways appropriate for the holiday. Special programs for teens also are offered. Call 832-7950 for information.

Eagle Bend public golf course provides lessons for youths.

Pick up a recreation program directory at the Community Building, at 115 W. 11th, or call 832-7920.

Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence has about 500 young members who participate in after-school and weekend activities ranging from karate in conjunction with the Young Olympians program to boys and girls' basketball. The club's after-school cultural arts program features various activities including puppetry, theater and dance.

Most club activities are available free to members who pay $10 annual dues.

Basketball tryouts for boys grades 4 through 12 is the first week of October, said club director Joe Stebbins. Tryouts for girls' basketball, also grades 4 through 12, is the first week of December.

Cheerleading classes will be offered, beginning this month.

The club, 1520 Haskell Ave., also has various youth leadership and social clubs, homework sessions and tutoring in computers skills, math, spelling and other academic subjects. On the lighter side, the club features pool and foosball tables.

The club is open this fall 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For information, call 841-6854.

During the school year, the club has a transportation system for picking up children at Broken Arrow, Centennial, Cordley, Kennedy, New York, Prairie Park, Schwegler and St. John's schools and also at Central and South junior highs. They later are delivered by van to various residential areas along a fixed route. The transportation service is free for members.

-- Mike Shields' phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is mshields@ljworld.com.

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