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Arts and crafts program offered in Mt. Pleasant Township

| Thursday, June 23, 2005

Children look anxiously towards their favorite day of the year -- the last day of school.

After a few days of jubilation, the youth begin to look for things to do.

To help youth in Mt. Pleasant Township enjoy their summers a little more, supervisors are sponsoring a play and craft program in Norvelt and Acme, with the help of the Donegal Township supervisors.

"It's a great program for all the kids," said Donna Polakovsky, Mt. Pleasant Township recreational director. "We have one play day and the other days we do crafts."

The programs in Norvelt and Acme run at different times.

"It all depends on if they can get transportation. We do have about five or six that come to both," Polakovsky said.

While the Norvelt program has been offered to township youth for decades, the Acme arts and crafts program has been offered for just the last six years.

"The kids from the mountain were having a difficult time getting down to Norvelt," Polakovsky said. "So the townships of Mt. Pleasant and Donegal combined efforts and brought the fun program to Acme."

The Acme program is held in the pavilion on the grounds of Acme United Methodist Church, located along Route 31.

Amy Kantorik has been a staff member at Acme for three summers.

"Monday is our play day. We play kickball or football or just run around," Kantorik said.

Approximately 25 children attend the program on a daily basis.

"I really like working with kids," said Kantorik, who plans on a career in special education or elementary education.

Tuesday through Thursday, crafts are made.

"We make a lot of different crafts. We do two crafts every day," Polakovsky said.

On the final day of the program at both Norvelt and Acme, a picnic is held and all the children make T-shirts.

"At Acme, we make T-shirts using blowpens, and at Norvelt, we make tie-dye shirts," Polakovsky said.

At Norvelt, Mondays are designated play day. Tuesdays through Thursdays are dedicated to crafting.

"At Norvelt, we get anywhere from 60 to 100 children daily, except on play days when there are fewer," Polakovsky explained.

The township supplies the staff. Three staff members help at Acme and nine are at Norvelt.

"It is so much fun, and the kids are always so happy," said Andrea Silvis, who is in her third year of helping at the Norvelt site. "It's nice to get them outside and not watching TV."

The Acme program concluded today. The Norvelt program will be held July 18 through Aug. 18. Times are Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All children are to bring a lunch.

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