by Dennis Dalman
Parents of school children ages 3 to 5 can now register for an upcoming enrichment and activities program dubbed “Sabre EdVenture Club” that will start in the upcoming school year.
EdVenture is short for “Education Adventure.” It will take place at Riverview, the newly remodeled former Sartell Middle School.
There is an “if” attached, however. EdVenture will start if schools will open, and that will happen if and when the danger of the pandemic recedes or – better yet – ceases.
EdVenture is a before- and after-school care program, similar to Kidstop that keeps kids happy and involved through recreational activities and fun learning that include science, art, reading, math and physical education. Nutritious snacks and juices will be served in the afternoon sessions. Costs for EdVenture are the same as those for Kidstop.
Besides before- and after-school options, EdVenture also offers care for occasional days, drop-ins and for nonschool days and vacation days. Slots for those options, however, are at this time a bit limited.
EdVenture is a program created by Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education. Kristina Leppanen, youth program coordinator for community education, strongly advises parents register early to be sure there will be a spot for their children when the program begins.
“There will be socialization, a kind of safe ‘hang-out’ space for kids,” Leppanen said.
But participants will be doing far more than just hanging out, she added.
“There will be many activities and a theme of the week, such as science, nature, art and more,” she said. “We would like to have smaller groups – say, no more than 10 children in each group. And we will then rotate specialists, instructors and presenters.”
EdVenture, Leppanen said, is an example of the “new flexibility,” of “thinking outside the box” and enhanced collaborations, all brought about by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic crisis.
The basics of the program, the things parents should consider before registering, are the following:
The before-school program, from 6:30-8:10 a.m. offers five options – from one day a week to five days a week. The after-school program, 2:40-6:15 p.m., also has those same options, one to five days a week.
The monthly fees are calculated based on 20 school days in a month multiplied by $4 per day for the morning program and $10.25 per day for the afternoon program. If there are fewer than usual school days in a month or a child does not use all of their days in a month, then a credit for such days will roll into the next month.
Other options are for occasional use or drop-ins. Those are designed for families whose children need care one to three times each month, but the option is available only if space is available. To check availability, call 320-258-7334. The before-school occasional use and drop-in options cost $5 per day for the before-school program and $11 per day for the after-school program.
There is also an option for nonschool days and vacation days that parents may sign up for at the time they register for the school year. For more information, see “Sabres EdVenture Club” on the school district’s website. Registration can be done on that same website.
There are scholarships and fee assistance available for families who need help. A sliding fee scale can be used for children who qualify for the Free and Reduced-Cost Lunch Program.
For more information about any aspect of the EdVenture Club, call Leppanen at 320-258-7334.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.