South Holland commission wants to give youth a winter break

2012-12-10T00:00:00Z South Holland commission wants to give youth a winter breakMary Ann Thornton Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 10, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The South Holland Youth Commission can help parents who are looking for activities to keep their children entertained while they are out of school this holiday season.

“Winter Break” is what the commission calls their program, and this year’s “break” promises to be the most engaging and stimulating for South Holland students. The program is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on most days scheduled for Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 for youth in fifth through 10th grades.

Activities planned during the first week include after-Christmas shopping at the Westfield Southlake Mall in Indiana, a fine dining experience with etiquette training, a live performance of "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theatre, and a day at South Suburban Creative Arts Center where students will get their bodies moving through ballroom dance, tap, hip-hop, and Zumba.

The second week kicks off with a movie and lunch buffet at Hollywood Palms in Naperville, followed by roller skating at Lynwood Sports Center. The "Break" closes with a lock-in at the South Holland Community Center in which students and volunteers pull an all-nighter of swimming, indoor sports, movies, board games, video games and more.

The Youth Commission Winter and Spring Break program is sponsored by Starbucks in Homewood on Halsted, Providence Bank, MB Financial, World Peace Ministries, and the South Holland Recreational Services Department. Support from local and regional corporate partners make it possible to keep registration fees low for parents. In fact, the total cost for parents to enroll one child is only $75 and $60 for each additional child thereafter. Now that’s a lot of bang for your buck.

The South Holland Youth Commission is all about engaging youth in meaningful ways and creating opportunities to expand their imagination, challenge their abilities and to encourage involvement in their community. The group developed and implemented the “break” program four years ago as a way to address a need, as expressed by parents. The reality is many parents have to work during the holidays, and for some, local child care programs can be a strain on their budgets. “Winter Break” brings peace of mind as children have a safe place to go, fun activities to participate in, and the care of responsible adults who not only maintain watchful eyes, but also serve as mentors.

“We are giving parents a return on their investment in this community by continuing to create programs to engage children at different levels,” said commission chair Vickie Perkins. "When we are engaging and interacting, we are mentoring our students and showing them that the South Holland community cares.”

Enrollment in the “Winter Break” program is limited to 40 students who attend a school in South Holland. Registration is conveniently available at the village website — southholland.org. To learn more about the Youth Commission and upcoming activities, call Village Hall at (708) 210-2904.

The opinions are solely the writer's. Mary Ann Thornton is communications manager for the village of South Holland. She can be reached at mat39@comcast.net.

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