Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Recreation Director's Report 
 February 10, 2009

On Friday, December 5th, the Brandon and Pittsford's Recreation Departments co-sponsored the Holiday Teen Dance at the VT Police Academy. This was the third year that we've held a dance in December (this same dance was scheduled for December 2005, but a fast moving storm dumped about 6" of snow on the day of the dance and we had to cancel the event). It was a successful dance with 168 (176-2007) teens attending. December is understandably a very busy time of year for everybody and Otter Valley had some activities of their own taking place at the same time that most likely cut into our attendance some. Our participants had a wonderful time and really seemed to enjoy themselves. I'd like to thank the many volunteers who helped make the event go smoothly. Thanks to Malhon McCoy, Rob Ketcham, Lorna & Mark Poljacik, Paula Rosen, and Mark Winslow who all helped out as chaperones. Thank you to Kathy Shortsleeves & Megan Bradley for administrating the concession table. And finally a special thanks goes out to Denise Anderson and the VT Police Academy for allowing use to use the fantastic space that they have. The Town of Pittsford is fortunate to have such a generous relationship with the State of VT. Our next teen dance is scheduled for Friday, February 13, 2009.

On Friday, January 2, 2009, at the VT Police Academy, the Maclure Library and the Recreation Department cosponsored the first of three Family Fun Nights to be held this winter. The theme for this particular event was "Winter Wonderland" with only 30 people attending. The reasons for the low numbers we think were that perhaps many folks for got about the event as families were home for the holiday vacation and out of their daily routines. A lack of advertising the event through the schools before vacation started also played a key factor in the lack of numbers. The event was advertised at the Maclure Library with a sidewalk sign next to US RT 7, here at the Town Offices, on-line, and around other public venues around town. On Friday, February 6, 2009 we cosponsored the second of three Family Fun Nights. The theme was "Lost in Space" and we had approximately 100 people in attendance. It only proves my point that in order to get a message to the families with young children in Pittsford you need to still take the time and energy to create a flyer, copy them, and get them to the pre-school teachers at Caverly School and the primary teacher's at Lothrop School. Our numbers were significantly higher when we sent information home with the kids. At our Family Fun Nights the Maclure Library provides many theme based arts & craft projects that children and their parents look forward to constructing. The Recreation Department is in charge of providing other activities and games for families to take part in, such as "Giant Connect Four, Checkers, Chess, & Dart Ball." The tunnels are extremely popular for our target age group of 3 graders and younger. One of the main reasons we offer these events is to give Pittsford families a "free" program that gets them out their houses, during the winter months, for an hour and half to socialize with friends and neighbors and to allow their kids a chance to burn up a little bit of their built up energy. Our third and final Family Fun Night for 2009 is scheduled for Friday, March 6, when theme will be "The Circus Comes to Town." The main attractions that night will be the two bounce houses from Funny Business Entertainment, LLC. Why have two bounce houses one might ask? Well we do it for a couple different reasons, the most important one being for the overall safety of everyone; because of the large number of children that typically attend we like to have one house set up for the smaller and younger kids and a second house set up that's designed more for the older participants. This keeps a natural age separation to some degree that really works well for us. Two it makes economical sense to have a second apparatus because it doesn't cost that much more to have the second house brought in at the same time, since the contractor is already there.

On Thursday, January 22, 2009 (the 4th Thursday of each month), the Recreation Department & "Pittsford Seniors" sponsored their monthly luncheon at the VT Police Academy. 41 seniors pre-registered and took advantage of the program. Each luncheon features a keynote speaker. Pittsford resident Gregory L. Sharrow, Director of Education & Folklorist at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury came highly anticipated. The Sr. Luncheons are to give local seniors a nutritious meal at an affordable price ($4.50 donation for people 60 and older & $6.00 for everyone else) so they can get out socialize with neighbors and friends. The next monthly luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, February 26 @ 1:00 pm. The keynote speaker will be Baird Morgan will be taking about the Pittsford Community Corp., a non-profit organization that is working for the betterment of Pittsford. He will speak about the mission of the group and the exciting project to turn the Forrest Farm into a community center. On December 14, 2008 the Pittsford Recreation Department and the Pittsford Seniors sponsored a trip to the Paramount Theatre to see the Vermont Symphony Orchestra: "HOLIDAY POPS" (Festive Music of the Season). Transportation was provided to and from event. "The Bus" picked up and dropped folks off at the Town Offices. Many of the seniors who participated wouldn't have otherwise gone to this fabulous show due to the fact they are uncomfortable driving at night. On Sunday, March 8, 2009 the Recreation Department and Pittsford Seniors are cosponsoring another trip to the Paramount Theatre to see the "Irish Rovers". This is the second year in a row that we've offered the same trip but that's only because the show is so popular with the Pittsford Seniors and both times the trips have filled. *FYI- I have been asked to speak to the group at the March 2009 Senior Luncheon. They're interested hearing more about my job and the department provides the community.

            Youth Basketball for 1st & 2nd grades finished their 6 week program last Saturday. I'd like to thank Carlo Falco & Tammi Blanchard for coaching the co-ed first grade team. Carlo & Tammi made their practices fun for the players and exposed them to new skills through drills and games. I had the pleasure of coaching the very large (14 players) 2nd grade co-ed group. First off I'd like to thank the assistant coach Tim Gallipo and dad's Chris McCullough and Ed Shannon. Without the support of these three gentlemen it would have been difficult for me to teach a group this large my by self. These guys did everything thing I asked of them, arrived early for practices and followed through with the lesson plans I created. The 2nd grade group improved so much in the short time we had them. Their skills, knowledge for the game and ability to play on a team certainly has improved. As a group this is only their second year participating in a organized basketball program. Next year as third graders they're looking forward to playing "real" games against other teams, but first they'll spend more time working their skill sets and learning more defense and offense concepts. As the Recreation Director it has been rewarding to watch various teams grow. Dick Williams and the co-ed third grade team has grown in each of the past few seasons. This confident group of 8 year olds has come a long way over the past three seasons. This team played their first "organized" basketball games this season. The Recreation Department 4th grade teams have been spending a lot time on the basketball learning about the game, learning how to set screens, and how to play better man to man defense. Like the 5th and 6th grade Lothrop teams both our 4 grader boys and girls teams began practicing the first week of December. The 4th graders spent the entire month of December practicing before the games began in January. The Recreation Department made a great decision splitting the 3rd & 4th graders and putting them on their own teams. Our low players to teams ratio has allowed for the 2008 participants to get a lot of repetitions in during practices and accumulate a lot playing time during games.

A sure sign that spring is quickly approaching is that over the past two weeks I've had two separate meetings, one for Youth League Baseball, and the other for Pittsford Day.

 


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