Little Star Studio Teaches More Than Arts and Crafts
Summer camp under way at Forks Community Center
Ginny Mahr cuts sponges into little cubes as she prepares to create scenery for a play that youngsters are putting on.
Mahr, a teacher from Forks Township, gathers the campers in a circle and studio owner Desiree Kratzer addresses the kids, who are between ages 3 and 8.
Week five of the six-week program is themed after pets and the campers have brought in pictures of their furry friends. Kratzer brought in her pet Cockatiel Misty to showcase.
"Misty is 11-years-old and can live to 25 years or more," Kratzer said to the amazement of the children. "She's a sweet bird."
Every Wednesday these past few weeks have been special for the children. The sessions go from 9:45am to 12:15pm.
"This program is fantastic," said Karen Cubberly of Lebanon Township, N.J., one of three teachers in the program. "They get their feet wet being away from Mom and Dad and get to socialize and have fun."
Today the group will put on the play "Go Dog Go," in which the kids will act it out. Music is a major part of the program as well.
"Every week, we always sing and play," Cubberly said.
She adds that the campers start out with 15 minutes of play time -- in which the kids kick balls, run around and make figures out of Play-Doh -- then play instruments, do crafts, have a snack and read a story -- all with a theme.
The week before was a "beach" theme, complete with sand and beach toys. The week before that was a pajama day with songs about Teddy bears.
"This is a real comfortable way of coming in and getting used to the situation," Cubberly said. "What makes this program very special is that it's run by three certified teachers and we're all mothers."
For Kratzer, the program really works.
"The kids stay alone and this gets them used to going to preschool in the fall," she said.