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Mt. Pleasant Township preparing rec programs

| Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

As summer quickly approaches, Mt. Pleasant Township is preparing its recreation programs, which have benefited generations of residents.

“We have offered this program for well over 40 years,” Mt. Pleasant Board of Supervisors Chairman Frank Puskar said. “I went to the recreation program as a kid. I looked forward to it and being able to see the kids that lived in other parts of the township.”

Free arts and crafts programs are offered in two areas of the township as well as free swim programs at Mt. Pleasant Area High School each year.

“I think the kids don't get outside enough to play these days. With our program, they are outside, get exercise and get to learn to make things. We also have an excellent learn-to-swim program,” Puskar said.

There are two arts and crafts programs offered.

The first will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, June 3 through July 11, at the Acme Methodist Church Pavilion. This program is held in partnership with Donegal Borough and Donegal Township and is open to children in all three municipalities.

The Norvelt Arts and Crafts Program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, July 15 to Aug. 22 at the Norvelt Pony League Field. This program is open to all Mt. Pleasant Township children. Participants of both programs are asked to please bring a lunch.

Recreation Program Director Donna Polakovsky has been with the program for more than 25 years.

“I enjoy watching the kids and now I enjoy watching the kids I had 25 years ago with their kids,” she said.

Polakovsky said the Acme program averages about 20 participants while the Norvelt program has between 50 to 60 participants, depending on the day.

“Mondays we will play board games and kickball as well as other games. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we have two crafts each day and at lunch we will play kickball or other games,” Polakovsky said.

She said the program is held rain or shine unless there is severe weather.

The learn-to-swim program is popular and fills up each year, Polakovsky said.

The program is for all ages and is held at the Mt. Pleasant Area High School swimming pool, she added. There are two classes; each run for two weeks.

The first session will be held from June 3 through June 14; the second session, June 17 through June 28. Each lesson lasts one hour. Session times are 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Supervisor Duane Hutter said the learn-to-swim program is important to residents' safety.

“Just think about how many kids' lives have been saved over the years by teaching them how to swim,” Hutter said.

Noah Chovanec, 16, of Norvelt, a member of the Mt. Pleasant Vikings Boys Swim Team, will be on the recreation staff this summer as a lifeguard. Chovanec said he attended the program as a child.

“Honestly, the program really did teach me how to swim and I remember really looking forward to going to it as a kid,” Chovanec said. “I think it's really cool being able to teach little kids to swim the way others did for me.”

Sign-ups for the program are under way. To register, call 724-423-6812 or email Recreation Info at: drpkmp1957@yahoo.com.

The township also offers a free swim program at the high school from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, June 3 through July 12. Both the free swim and the swim lessons are open to residents of the Mt. Pleasant Area School District.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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