Summer programs kick off in Hill City, Keystone

By Jeff Smith

Cara Ronish, server for the Summer Food Service Program, hands a plate of food to a student on the first day it is at Hill City, June 5. Around 80 students were fed a full lunch.

Proper nutrition is a vital component to a child’s development. Even though school is not in session, children 18 and under in Hill City and Keystone are still able to get a free lunch this summer simply by visiting the school’s cafeteria.

Hill City has participated in the program for four years.

“I must say I am very proud of this program. It serves children in our community and helps families because it is one less meal they have to be accountable for,” Roxann DuBois, food services manager for Hill City School District, said.

DuBois said the school lunch program works well with summer school and the tech camps.

June 5 was the first day for the program in Hill City and there were around 80 students who attended lunch there.

During sports camps on Wednesdays DuBois estimates there will be around 100-110 students that will be fed through the program.

Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and it will be held Monday through Thursday until July 20.

The Summer Food Service Program expanded to Keystone this year which DuBois said is really exciting. Children there will be able to receive a cold sack lunch Tuesday through Friday. The summer lunch program there will last until July 21. Lunch will be served in Keystone at 12:45 p.m. in the Keystone Community Center.

The summer rec program is going to start on June 13 at 10 a.m. and will last until noon. It will be held until the end of July on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The program is for youth five years old to 18. The group is split into two groups, younger children and older ones.

There are around 15 to 20 children who participate in the summer rec program.

“It’s not that organized and kind of up to the kids and what they want to do,” Robin Scott, Keystome library director, said.

The older children play games during the summer rec program. Scott said if there are not a lot of children they will just be mixed together.

“I take the younger kids and we do crafts and a story time,” Scott said.

A large part of what the students do in the summer rec program is work in the garden.

“It will probably be half of the time but we need to work on our garden,” Scott said.

The library is also doing a summer reading program where students read each week and they get a prize. At the end of the summer reading program there is an end-of-summer reading party. Whoever read the most gets a gift card. There is also an adult reading program where adults are able to put their name in a drawing for a prize.

There are usually 40 adults and children who participate in the summer reading program.

Scott likes to do the reading program until the end of July. Sometimes she will do the program through August.

Scott keeps track of the reading hours the students complete on her computer.

The minimum amount students read in the program is 15 minutes, but she likes them to read for an hour — and maybe they will try to read more.

Scott said the benefit of the summer reading program is to have children stay on top of their reading skills.

“It jogs their memory a little bit and they’re not mindlessly sitting there, fidgeting,” Scott said.

The summer reading program has already started and runs through July 21.