Fun Friday focuses on Christmas at JackPAC
Therefore, traditional relay games were linked to the season. For example, instead of a sack for the three-legged race children used giant stockings.
Children were divided into teams with all age groups mixed. During the week students who stay after school to participate in JackPAC are separated according to grade level. However, on Fun Fridays, they combine for games during the first hour and then complete activities at their grade level.
In celebration of Christmas teams raced one by one with spoonfuls of candy to fill stockings tacked to the wall and they also did a Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer relay, running from one end of the gym to the other with a red paper circle taped to their nose.
Later, the children decorated cookies, played a game of Christmas bingo and watched a Christmas movie.
The after-school program is not meant to be an extension of the school day. While there are certain mandated activities such as physical education and homework time, everything is presented in an exciting, enthusiastic atmosphere.
There are several clubs as well that give children a choice of activities based on their talents and interests. Often the clubs are offered in partnership with community members. For example, there is a Beading Club, Cooking Club, Painting Club, Kid’s Story Club, Drumming Club and Yoga Club. There is also Friday Night Live for Kids, which is a community-service club.
JackPAC is a program initiated by Proposition 49 and has been in operation since the start of school Aug. 23, 2007. By the end of September, more than 90 students were enrolled.
The State of California provides funding for the program and staff at the Westwood Family Resource Center supplies the oversight partnering with the local school district, Lassen County Office of Education and members of the community.
It is this partnership paired with the resource center’s mascot — jacks — that inspired the creative name for the program. The acronym PAC stands for partners in after-school collaboration.
The initial program was started in the spring of 2007, late in the 2006-07 school year. The trial run gave staff an opportunity to work through problems and get everything on track so they were prepared for the 2007-08 school year.
JackPAC is free to students in kindergarten through seventh grade attending school in the Westwood Unified School District and is designed as an enrichment program for all children.
Although the after school program ends at 6 p.m., there is an early release policy. This policy makes it possible for children to enroll in JackPAC and take part in other programs such as Little League, Girl Scouts or Christian youth groups that meet in the afternoon.
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