After-care Program Promises FUN

By Sonya Parry

Atlantic News, Tuesday, September 5, 1995

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

HAMPTON -- If it's after school FUN your kids need, it's after school FUN they'll get.

FUN, an innovative before and after school care program directed by Lori Tarnowski and Mary Hollis, has recently found a new home at the site which was previously Jack's P.O. Box Restaurant. The decision to purchase the site came because the program simply outgrew the space at First Congregational Church.

"We spent three good years there," said Hollis. It was just time to move to a bigger facility.

FUN focuses on the idea of fundamental nurturing. With such a diverse age group ranging from 5-12, the kids tend to look up to each other, Hollis noted. The kids tend to have a sibling effect on each other in which the older children watch out for the younger ones, and in turn the younger kids look up to them. The structure is good foe everyone's self-esteem.

"It's a group of kids that may not otherwise be friends (because of the age difference)," said Hollis.

FUN hosted a registration open house on Aug. 31 to welcome parents and children to the new building. The turnout was great and the registration line stretched out the door. "It was a success," said Tarnowski. A satisfied parent passed by telling her that the critics (the children) approved.

Daily schedules at FUN include supervised free time, organized games, crafts and time for table games or homework. K-care, a program for kindergarteners, also includes a scheduled lunch, which the children bring.

Indoor games at FUN include foosball and floor hockey and various board games. Other indoor activities include a parachute, plays and observing FUN's pet hermit crab, Peak-a-boo.

Outdoors, because of the near two acre lot, there is plenty of room to play. FUN currently has a jungle gym and tire swing, and are planning to get swings and a zip-line. The fields allow for various sports and games.

"In the winter the kids play more outside then inside," said Hollis. Last year, they spent time sledding and playing on the snow piles (sorry kids, no snow balls). Hollis also noted that whoever plows the lot should pile all the snow in one place.

Tarnowski and Hollis began FUN four years ago because they saw a need in the town for more child care. They were also looking for employment working with children. However, there are still some goals to be reached.

"We'd like to have a basketball court and sand volleyball," said Hollis. Inside goals include a pool table and personal computers.

FUN, Inc., is an independent, state licensed program with a cap of 40 children at a time. For rates, hours and registration, contact FUN at 40 Stickney Terrace, Hampton, 929-4466.