Sliding into summer!

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

As the children played in the hot sun and then cooled off on the water slides, it was easy to see that summertime had arrived at Douglass Park.

Debbie Bloodworth, a childcare partner with Kids & Kin Family Guidance Center, said that the group serves children and families in Crenshaw, Lowndes and Butler counties.

&#8220Everyone who is here today for the Family Fun Day is either a grandparent, an aunt, uncle or a sibling who is taking care of a child under the age of 12,” Bloodworth said. &#8220During the summer, we try to do fun things for the kids and the adultsŠit's just all part of the program.”

The activities provided for the June 15 event in Douglass Park included slip and slides, sack races, water balloon wars, three-legged races, and, of course, hamburgers and hot dogs. The children also had visits from the Luverne Volunteer Fire Department, the Luverne Fire and Rescue and the Luverne Police Department.

&#8220They help to teach the kids fun and safety at the same time,” Bloodworth said.

Pepsi donated the sign, the sodas, the frisbees and the T-shirts for the day. The City of Luverne donated the use of Douglass Park for the event for free.

The Kids & Kin Family Guidance Center teaches the same classes that anyone would need if he or she wanted to open a daycare center, according to Bloodworth.

&#8220Our participants can become their own daycare provider after they are certified by DHR,” she added.

Mary Walker of Luverne, said that she has 11 grandchildren and that she joined the program in 2000.

&#8220I have completed Levels 1 and 2 and am an ambassador,” she said.

Daniel Copeland, 18, of Glenwood, has five siblings under the age of 12. He has been with the program since Oct. of 2005.

&#8220I've learned a lot about how to keep kids healthy,” he said.

Bloodworth noted hat the Kids & Kin program includes classes and information on first aid and CPR, stress management, time management and how to interact with young children.

&#8220Starting in each October, our participants can take up to 14 classes, and they must complete all 14 classes in order to receive $150 in all kinds of educational gifts, books and learning center items,” she said. &#8220Once they finish levels 1 and 2, they can become ambassadors for the program and be able to participate in all kinds of activities, plus they can help to recruit others.”

In Lowndes County, the Kids & Kin Family Guidance Center recently had a pizza party at Family Services in Hayneville.

&#8220The kids watched tapes on fire safety, and they made balloon animals and did face painting,” Bloodworth said. &#8220We even had a talent show, which included comedy skits and dance routines.”

She added that 13 children and 11 adults participated in the Lowndes County event.

Bloodworth added that on June 21, the Lowndes County Extension agent would present a program on sun safety and also give the children sun bead bracelets to wear that change colors in the sun to let you know that you need sunscreen.

&#8220That day, they will also be decorating sun hats for everybody present,” she added.

For more information about the Family Guidance Center, please contact 334-782-4008 or 1-800-499-6597, ext. 221.