Friday, June 2, 2000
Extended Day finds there's no place like home
The Carlisle Extended Day Program moved to its new, permanent home at 142 East Street, the former home and office of pediatrician Dr. Ron Schneebaum, on May 1. Last year, the nonprofit group took out a mortgage to purchase the property for its after-school programs and since then has extensively remodeled the interior to accommodate children in grades K-6.
Director Sherry Ward says teachers, children and parents are all enjoying some of the amenities of the home. "Students can leave out their art projects and pictures and leave up block buildings for days," said Ward. "We can now put things on the walls and the kids are sponge-painting the walls." A large room was created for use on rainy days and students have recently put on puppet shows and taken aerobic classes there. Ward said the new space also allows students to be divided into groups according to their ages.
Seven acres surround the house, including a grassy lawn and an existing horse paddock that is now converted to a field for kick ball, wiffle ball and other sports. The hardtop driveway doubles as a basketball court and chalk blackboard. There are also permanent storage areas for art, play and sports equipment.
Kindergartners arrive after school at noon and stay until 3 p.m. or 6:15 p.m., while students in grades 1-6 arrive at 2 or 3 p.m. and stay until 6:15 p.m. The program also operates on teacher professional days and early release days to provide coverage for parents. Extended Day also runs a before-school program at the Carlisle School in the mornings. The group purchased a van to transport kids to and from other after-school programs, such as tennis and music lessons, held at the Carlisle School.
The Carlisle Extended Day Program was founded in 1981 to provide after-school activities for children of parents working outside the home. It was previously located at the Carlisle School and most recently leased space across the street from their new home at Saint Irene's Church. Finding a permanent home has been an important goal because the program has been continually growing. It had a waiting list until recently because of space limitations. Because of the new space, Extended Day can now accommodate more children and currently has openings for students in its fall programs. The program is licensed by the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services and has a staff of nine including coordinators, teachers and assistant teachers. Director Sherry Ward has been with Extended Day for 13 years
Possible new activities for the program include music and art lessons, nature study and walks, and classes in practical skills, such as cooking, sewing and gardening. The group is also working with the Carlisle Recreation Department to explore the possibility of holding recreation classes at the Extended Day facility during morning hours when the building is not in use.
For more information on the Extended Day program, call Sherry Ward at 369-5558.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito