Local groups gear up for family fun
by Rory Doyle
Apr 08, 2013 | 2450 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A number of Cleveland institutions are teaming up for another big Saturdays in the Park event on April 13.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Spring Fling 2013 will bring lots of energy to Cleveland's Bear Pen Park.

For just $1 per car, local youth and families will enjoy a day full of games and recreation opportunities. The fee goes back into a fund to help provide for costs of future events.

Groups sponsoring the event include: Excel by 5, Cleveland School District, Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, Mayor's Task Force for a Healthier Community and Delta State University's College of Education.

CSD Assistant Superintendent Brenda Ellis encouraged all K-6 students to be decked out with school T-shirts to promote a new competition.

"This is the first year we'll have the Mayor's Cup trophy for the school with the highest participation," said Ellis. "It's a really nice trophy that the winning school will get to hold onto for a year."

Schools within Cleveland city limits are eligible for the title.

Participants will also enjoy numerous field day physical actives, fishing, sidewalk chalk, kites, a literacy circle and other activities and games.

Cartoon mascots will include Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Elmo.

Saturdays in the Park, now in its fifth year, has progressed well through the years, said Dr. John Alvarez, member of Excel by 5, task force board member and professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at DSU.

"They've done a good job serving the community by continuing to provide opportunities for our kids to get out and be physically active on the weekends," said Alvarez.

Concessions will be available and attendees are asked not to bring outside food and drinks.

Parents must register their children upon arrival and must accompany the youth at all times.

School nurses will also be on site to provide parents with application information for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

"It's going to be old fashioned healthy family fun for the community," added Ellis. "No profanity, no violence, no alcohol."

Ellis said the affair also corresponds with the first day of Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which raises awareness and advocacy surrounding the importance of early childhood programs and services.