Children of the Spalding area have been in for a treat these summer holidays.
A new summer holiday program organised by the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) has been taking place at the Spalding Family Centre and Mitchell Street park in Spalding.
Following on the success of the holiday program held in October, this extended program will see lots more fun holiday activities.
There will be bike repair workshops, movie nights, arts and culture, health and wellbeing activities, circus fun, rap dancing DVD-making, community barbeques and plenty of sports.
Children will be able to test drive the WACRH blender bike. The bike uses pedal power to make healthy smoothies.
There will also be morning maths and reading learning circles to give kids a head start to their 2017 school year.
The holiday program is supported by the City of Greater Geraldton (CGG) and WACRH is collaborating with the Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Association (GSAC), the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) and other agencies.
Professor Sandra Thompson, WACRH Director, was pleased that WACRH could again be involved in the holiday program.
“We interviewed residents in the Spalding area as part of a soon to be released report called Reality Street.”
“What was clearly expressed by the residents was the need for holiday activities to be put on in their area for children to alleviate their boredom.”
“There are lots of activities held in central Geraldton and in the sporting areas of Wonthella but it’s often difficult for children in Spalding and the northern suburbs of Geraldton to get there.”
“By holding this extensive holiday program we will engage with kids to provide a safe and happy environment. Staff and students have been planning this to ensure a range of great activities to challenge and involve the kids,” Professor Thompson said.
Adrian Bartlett, GSAC Project Officer, noted that the holiday program has origins from over 20 years ago.
“Back in 1994 the Department of Sport and Recreation initiated a school holiday program with GSAC and Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation (Streeties) called Streetsports.”
“Many people may remember the Streetsports trailer full of sporting equipment being moved to different community parks and ovals around Geraldton for children to play with.”
“In my early days of working for GSAC on this program, we used to get up to 100 kids a day coming along.”
“It’s great to see the return a holiday program which was shown to effectively engage kids over 20 years ago and has now evolved into something bigger and better,” Mr Bartlett said.
The program is for children aged between 6 to 16 years old. Parents and relatives are welcome to come along to have some fun and to lend a hand.
The program is being held in the first week of the school holidays from Monday 19th up to Friday 23rd December. It then starts up again after Christmas from Monday 9th to Wednesday 25th January. It will run on weekdays (not on public holidays) from 9am to 4pm. For Thursday 12th and 19th January it will run from 12-5pm.
There are no costs to attend the Spalding Summer Holiday Program thanks to the sponsorship from the CGG and other agencies. It’s all free.
Healthy morning tea and lunches will be provided every day, thanks to generous donations from Foodbank.
For more details, contact Lenny Papertalk at the WACRH on 9956 0200.