Generous donation makes after school program fun

By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter

Not long ago Melody Kenworthy attended the 21st Century Community Learning Center conference where there was a Hula Hoop instructor.

“I didn’t actually attend the segment,” said Kenworthy, “but I thought it was a great concept. So I went online and found a curriculum that teaches how to make, decorate, and use the hoops in various ways to enhance coordination, teamwork, and sportsmanship, not to mention the physical activity.”

The undertaking was made possible by a very generous donation of nearly 600 feet of PVC pipe and numerous connectors from Mountain View Co-op.

Prairie View students were coached as they filled the pipes with beans and rice, and then heated the ends in boiling water and put on the connectors.

Meadowlark students were deemed too little to brave the Hula Hoop making. So, for their safety, 30 tubes were prepared ahead of time.

“We chose the tallest second grader and the tallest fifth grader to measure for an average size,” explained Kenworthy. “You measure from the floor to the bellybutton and multiply by Pi (a mathematical constant that is equal to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter) to get the length to cut the tubing.” After that the ends are heated in boiling water before the connectors are inserted.

Fun colored and patterned duct tape was used to decorate the Hula Hoops. The entire project was a big hit and would not have been possible if it weren’t for the supplies Mountain View Co-op kindly provided.

The after school program boasts more than 20 kids at both Meadowlark and Prairie View, which participating children signed up for.

They can do homework help, homework help and the activity, or just the activity. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, a number of students go to the library for an activity.

Kenworthy is the Coordinator of Activities. At Prairie View the facilitator is Cleo Everhard, the high school student helpers are Trinity Cox and Kailey Judisch, and the Hula Hoop instructor is Diana Agre.

At Meadowlark the two facilitators are Kay Philipps and Philip Combs, the high school student helper is Amy Bailey, and the Hula Hoop instructor is Bev Anderson.

Aside from making and playing with Hula Hoops, the after school program offers a variety of other activities such as Creative Addictions crafts, Shirlien Faull art, board games, and last session Reid Stuart did an amazing program about birds and their houses.

Kenworthy is always on the lookout for new ideas or activities. Also donations of age appropriate board games are always appreciated. To donate a game, or offer an idea, get in touch with Kenworthy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .