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Working parents make most of Cranberry after school program

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

With the school year fast approaching, many parents are on the lookout for child care services to make their busy lives a bit easier. Kids Club, run by the Cranberry Township Parks and Recreation Department, can help.

The program has provided, in the words of Kids Club Coordinator Mark Reider, “a safe and fun environment” for children in grades K-6 for more than a decade. Originally, only After School Kids Club was offered, but this year parents can drop their children off on the way to work for before-school care. School's Out All Day Kids Club is also an option when school is not in session.

Kids Club is held at the Cranberry Township Municipal Building. Seneca Valley school buses take children to and from Rowan, Connoquenessing Valley, Haine, and Evans City schools.

On a typical day, 40 to 60 children are enrolled. Their afternoons are full of a variety of activities such as crafts, Wii, games in the gym (or outdoors if the weather is nice) and quiet reading time in the library. Time is also set aside for homework.

Sue and Mike Dugan of Cranberry Township have two daughters, Rachel and Caitlin, who are entering fifth and second grade at Haine. Both girls have attended After School Kids Club since they were in kindergarten.

“Kids Club has been a life saver for us,” said Sue. “We both work and just can't be home at the time that the girls get out of school.”

The Dugans initially chose the program because of its reasonable price.

“Once you find out how nice it is, it's even more of a bargain,” she said.

The girls' favorite activities are the crafts. They love the coloring contests and “Minute to Win It” games. They also enjoy being with the many friends they have made at Kids Club from outside of their school.

There is still space available for the coming school year. Enrollment is by day of the week.

The Before School program cost for Cranberry residents is $25 per day; for nonresidents it is $28 per day. The After School program cost for residents is $30 per day; for nonresidents it is $39 per day.

To register a child, or for more information, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 724-776-4806, ext. 1129.

Abbie Minard is a freelance writer.

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