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Thomas Williams, a first-grader at Century Elementary, has been attending Play 30 before school. He and other students get their heart rates going by doing relays and racing around the gym.

Century students stay busy before and after school

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Century students have the opportunity to participate in activities before and after school.

A program called "Play 30" has been available Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. at the Century Elementary gym. It is based on the NFL's "Play 60" campaign that encourages youth to get 60 minutes of activity each day.

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This fall, some students were being dropped off at school early and had nothing to do but sit in the cafeteria until school started. Play 30 is a way to get some exercise in before school starts.

Lynn Just and Molly Aukes stepped up to supervise the activities.

"It's about getting kids moving," Just said.

Between 20 and 25 kids have been attending regularly to participate in relays, basketball, running and other activities.

"Getting some exercise before heading into the classroom helps them get through the day," Aukes said.

Music is played during some of the half hour and used with some of the games. "Speed Racer" is played as the kids run around the gym.

First-grader Thomas Williams enjoys dribbling the basketball.

The program will continue in January. It is run through Community Education and costs $5 per month. It is for grades K-8.

A program will also be available after school for grades K-4 starting Jan. 11.

The after school program, at this point unnamed, will provide homework help and supervised play until 5:30 p.m.

Community Education director Jill Dickinson said a survey was sent out to see if parents were interested in having their kids participate in an after school program. Parents were interested.

Andy Thomason will supervise the program. Students will meet Mondays in the fourth grade pod and Tuesdays through Thursdays in the cafetorium.

The after school program is also offered through Community Education. Parents must register their children. The cost is $40 per month or $20 for a half month. A sliding fee is available with a copy of a free and reduced lunch letter.

Dickinson said they tried to make the program affordable to families and a few businesses have stepped up to offer scholarships for some students.

To sign up for either program, go to www.parkrapidscomed.com or call 237-6600.

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