CIRCLEVILLE— Now that the weather is warm, Friday in the Park is returning to Ted Lewis Park starting next week.
June 22 through Aug. 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., there will be crafts, games, and learning opportunities for elementary-aged children. The events are free to the public.
Each Friday has a different theme, including The Moon on June 22, Kids and Badges on June 29, On Site Foundation Kids’ Day on July 6, Safety in the Parks and Waterways of Ohio on July 13, Art Explosion on July 20, Beach Time on July 27 and Law Enforcement on Aug. 3.
Organizer Brenda Short, said she reached out to the groups that have participated in the past to see who would be interested in helping out once again.
“When someone volunteers to take one of the Fridays, they plan what they want to do and take care of it,” she said.
Short said that for safety reasons, children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian to each event.
“We can’t have the kids just running around in the park; that’s always been a requirement,” she said. “We also tell them to wear play clothes. We don’t want them to wear something and have it get stained.”
Tammy Smith, Early Head Start center manager, said Head Start, which is a program of Pickaway County Community Action, has helped with Friday in the park every year they’ve been invited since 2010.
“Anything we can do to support the community, to get parents to see the value in education, and to keep kids ready for school and interested in school is something we want to be a part of,” Smith said.
For their event on July 20, Smith said they’ll be combining science and art in their activates.
“We’re going to do flying rockets, and it involves baking soda and paint that will cause a reaction; it leaves their papers with a piece of artwork,” she said. “We try to do things that will interest all ages. Goes from very young to elementary-age kids.”
Michelle Callahan, community relations coordinator for the Pickaway County Library, said the library participates in the event because of being able to interact with the community.
"We love being a part of it," she said.
The library's event, called the moon, will feature a local teacher who will bring her NASA knowledge to the students.
"We'll have Carmeen Tarbill, a teacher from Teays Valley, who has gone through the NASA program and has moon rocks on loan to her at the event," she said. "We'll also have reading time, a physical activity and a game as well as a snack."
Sergeant Matthew Hafey of the Circleville Police said his department is helping with two Fridays, including one that will be an offsite event for the Foundations4Youth Drop in Center.
“We want to showcase what we do for the kids and give a little more detail to the public, and move it away from the center,” he said. “Fridays in the Park are designed for the kids to play and have a good time. We’re going to be cooking food and have the regular volunteers for the center helping out at the park with games and fun activities. It will be a great time.”
Hafey the police host the events to have a positive interaction with the community, since sometimes they are involved in a person’s bad day.
“A lot of times when people see us it’s either for a bad reason or something bad happened to them,” he said. “We like having positive community engagement. That’s a nice thing about Circleville; it’s a small town and you can really get to know your neighbors.”