Waupaca schools team up with city Parks and Rec
By Angie Landsverk
The first session of the new After Summer School Adventure Program took students to Waupaca’s parks, beach, library and more.
“I think it’s gone well. It’s a good partnership with the school to get them over here afterwards. Hopefully, it continues to grow in numbers,” said Andrew Whitman, the city’s recreation programmer.
The Waupaca School District partnered with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to offer the program during both sessions of summer school.
The first session of summer school ran from June 13-24. The second session is Aug. 8-19.
Whitman said parents may continue to sign their children up for the second session of the program through the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
After summer school, the students ate lunch before riding a bus from Waupaca Learning Center to the city’s recreation center.
They arrived at the rec center around 1 p.m. The program ended at 4 p.m.
“I liked how convenient it was,” said 11-year-old Madison Dietrich. “You got to hang out with so many people and have fun.”
Close to 30 students participated in the first After Summer School Adventure Program.
The leaders for the program included Devon and Kirstin Feldt and Claire Ellie.
Ellie teaches at WLC, which is where Kirstin Feldt will teach in the fall.
Devon Feldt, who is a teacher at Weyauwega Elementary, said, “Working with kids is fun, which is why I teach.”
He despises video games and of the new program, said, “They get outside. Less screen time. More play time.”
Whitman said the program’s leaders were allowed to decide what they wanted to do, whether it was educational or simply having fun.
“The weather was good, so they were able to go to the beach and see different parks. They went to the library a few times to learn about the programs offered there. I think it opens their eyes to all things going on in the summer, whether at the library, at Park and Rec or the parks we have.”
Whitman said they also tried to stress intergenerational opportunities with the senior center and community service.
One activity included a scavenger hunt with seniors.
On one of the last days of the first session, the students had an ice cream social with seniors.
“We also wanted to bring in community service involvement, so they’re learning to help others,” Whitman said. “It’s neat to see. They’re really buying into it.”
He made that comment as the students picked up trash in Riverview Park.
First, the students did so while walking down Main Street.
Ellie said some business owners thanked the students for doing so.
Eight-year-old Rylee Nelson said, “I like that I got to do a lot of fun stuff. We got to go to different places.”
Both Nelson and Dietrich said they would like to be in the program again.
Kirstin Feldt said it was fun to see students outside of a classroom setting and to show them what Waupaca has to offer.
Ellie said the ages of the students in the program varied.
“They want to do stuff. They want to be kids,” she said. “We tried to give them different options about what they want to do. The beach was a favorite.”