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Program Spotlight: Rec Readers

The pandemic has made traditional recreation programming extremely difficult. Youth sports, outdoor activities, and special events have all been tremendously impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. AJ McCage, Community Programs Supervisor, hasn't let that stop her creative programming efforts. She wanted to find ways to engage children with take-home activities that were fun, educational, and allowed for creativity. Another focal point was to offer an activity that didn't involve a computer or tv screen. A recent survey conducted by the department showed that 92.7% of respondents felt that their child(ren) were spending too much time on electronic devices. After lots of careful planning, AJ created the Rec Readers program after striking an innovative partnership with the Hopewell Public Library. The Library's surplus children's books would be donated for the program, allowing each child in the program to start their own personal library at home. Age appropriate books are paired with fun craft activities and packaged into a personalized kit for each child. The kits are provided to each family through non-contact, doorstep delivery facilitated by Recreation and Parks staff. The program has more than 100 registered participants and the number continues to grow as word spreads through the community. This unique programming effort is one example of how Hopewell Recreation and Parks continues to serve its community, even in the most trying times.

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