School programs are fun for kids, and convenient for parents

I go to a before- and after-school program at Sandy Knoll Elementary School run by Child and Family Services of the U.P. The program is available to elementary kids enrolled in a Marquette Area Public School. The program is so convenient, the children have a lot of fun and it helps out working moms and dads.

I go to bed at 7:30 p.m., so I don’t have much after-school time. It’s kind of hard to do homework when I have after-school specials and have to go to bed early.

My mom gets mad when I refuse to go to bed at 7 p.m. Sometimes, I feel miserable because some of my friends have a 10 p.m. curfew, but I personally wake up at 5:30 a.m. because I have to be to the before school program by 6:30 a.m. As soon as I hear my mom come down the hall to wake me up I’m always like, “Five more minutes please?” My sister does not get up as easily as I do, and because of that, she gets 2 more minutes because she sleeps a lot! By 6 a.m. my whole family is up and my dad is already out of the house and at work. On the weekends I can enjoy sleeping in a bit longer. I wake up at almost 8 a.m. and sometimes stay in bed even longer.

On our busy weekday mornings, my sister eats a bowl of cereal every morning and I eat at the before-school program. Usually, the drive to school isn’t bad, but in the winter sometimes it really hits us hard in the mornings. I live out of town so it takes about 12 to 15 minutes to get to school.

Once I get there we all have about an hour of table time and every student there gets to vote on a daily game. There are millions of games to choose from. We often play “shrink” or “gaga ball” and we play “everybody’s it” a lot too.

Your child is able to have breakfast there between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. and they serve a nourishing breakfast. I always eat breakfast at school because it is very uncommon for me to have breakfast at home (it’s too early for breakfast at 5:45 in the morning). I usually eat Goldfish Crackers and a Nutri Grain bar. They offer cheese sticks but I don’t like ’em. I drink grape juice.

The before- and after-school program is 6:45 a.m. until 8:45 a.m., so I fill my time by playing and hanging with my friends and sometimes I even bring my own stuff to do. My favorite thing to do there is color. They always have new coloring sheets, so you never have to color the same thing again and again.

Right before school, the first through third grades line up in the gym in front of the stage and then get into their class line. Fourth- and fifth-graders have to go to their own class and line up there, but there is someone from the program who follows the kids to make sure they don’t sneak off to breakfast.

If you’re a busy parent and don’t have time to wait for your kids’ school to start, maybe try the before-and after-school program. It gives your kids time to wake up and have some fun before school.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ivy Pomeroy is 9 years old. She is in fourth grade at Sandy Knoll Elementary School and loves to read and figure skate.