Children find ways to play at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig |

Children find ways to play at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig

Nicole Inglis

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For more information, or to download forms and donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, visit the organization's Web site at

Six-year-old Julia Chavez is trying to glue her igloo together, but the top won’t stay on.

The theme is “Christmas in July” at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, and about 10 children sit around a table in the art room gluing felt hats on penguins and sprinkling glittery snow on their foam igloos.

Two supervisors wander around the table helping with the gluing and cutting, while the club director, Dana Duran, watches from outside the circle.

“When they’re here, they’re not watching TV,” she said.

“We watch maybe one movie a week. It’s important to keep them busy in the summer and give them different options and a positive place to play.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Craig is a nonprofit organization that provides safe and educational development programs for youths and teens. When school’s out, the club offers reprieve from students’ summer blues by offering indoor and outdoor activities every day.

The club opens at 6:30 a.m., and more than 80 children were dropped off at the front door Tuesday.

Many parents drop their children off for the entire day while they are at work. Duran said some single parents are happy that their children have other options to keep them interested and active during the summer.

“But, if parents just want to go to the grocery store for an hour by themselves, they can just drop their kid off, too,” she said.

For an annual fee of $10, children can use the club during regular hours from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After 1 p.m. there is an additional yearly fee of $10.

The club features pool tables, a gym, craft room and a Rock Band game, where Julia likes to practice her drumming skills.

Duran said twice a week several of the children go on a bike ride.

Those who want to can go to Loudy-Simpson Park and to the tennis courts.

Indoors, there is ample time for the children to play in the computer lab or with musical instruments.

“It’s really just structured play time with professionally trained staff,” Duran said. “We try to give them a ton of options and appeal to different kinds of kids.”

Julia said she goes to the club every day while her mother works.

“I come here because my mom wants me to have lots of fun,” she said. “And I love it here. I really love it here.”

She said she likes the craft activities because she can bring her creations home to her mother. But her favorite part is lunch and snack time.

It’s time to clean up in the craft room, and Julia hasn’t finished her igloo.

“I’m not done yet,” she said to Duran, as the rest of the children hurry to clear the glitter off the table.

The feet fell off one of her penguins, and the snowflake decorations weren’t complete.

“Well, you might have to take it home,” Duran replied. “I think it’s time for snack time.”

Her face lit up as she hurriedly cleaned up her station to move on to her favorite part of the day.

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or

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