Archive for Friday, October 27, 2006

Fifth Quarter provides safe fun after games

October 27, 2006

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Tonight, Lawrence high school students can come to a party spot, and mom and dad don't have to worry about their whereabouts.

The event, called the Fifth Quarter, will follow the Lawrence High football game, and students from any Lawrence high school can attend the Halloween party from 9:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. at the Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St.

"I think from the kids' perspective, they want a place to go and hang out and have fun," said Lawrence High basketball coach Chris Davis. "From a parents' perspective, they want to know the place is safe. If we can do both, that's the real win-win situation."

Davis and Adriane Gill founded the Lawrence Parent Network more than a year ago. The network, which organizes the Fifth Quarter events, now includes about 300 families and is open to any parent of high school or junior high students.

Students might not think of it as "cool" to hang around with parents in the building on a Friday night, but organizers say the teens get to plan the Fifth Quarter events.

"We really are just trying to facilitate to the kids and make it what they want it to be," Davis said.

The Parent Network organizers and participating students are trying to spread the message to other students after offering several Fifth Quarters this fall.

"To get kids interested, we need to grow a little bit more," said Jamie Hulse, the Parent Network's activities chairwoman.

Some of the events have been successful with more than 100 students attending, including one with live student band performances. During at least three others, fewer than 100 attended, Hulse said.

The Friday night events feature a live DJ, but many students also play volleyball and dodgeball.

"When there are more people there, it's more fun," said Bobby Davis, a Lawrence High sophomore and Chris' son.

Organizers also expect more financial and community support for the Fifth Quarter if more students get involved.

If students wear a costume tonight, the $2 entry fee is waived. Students must bring valid identification.

The Fifth Quarter events have taken place this fall after home football games. They will continue through the season as both Lawrence football teams appear headed to the playoffs, Hulse said.

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