Parks Department Makes Fridays a Party for Preteens
Patterson, Jennifer, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jennifer Patterson Daily Herald Staff Writer
Fox Meadow Elementary School in South Elgin turns into a hip-hop club of sorts some Friday nights.
Kids wearing baggy pants and glittery nail polish gather to dance, listen to music and catch up on the latest gossip.
For preteens in South Elgin and the surrounding areas, Klub Friday Nite is the coolest place to be.
The program, run through the South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department, has become the most popular activity the organization offers for young people, said Recreation Supervisor Ellen Manjarrez.
"It's not something that's totally organized," she said. "We're not telling them what to do ... they can kind of hang out with their friends, play basketball, or do whatever."
The twice-monthly program is closely monitored by parks department staff, however, an element that makes it equally popular with parents, Manjarrez said.
It's a safe alternative for kids who are tired of watching TV on Friday nights, and for parents who want to make sure they know where their children are.
"There's been a pretty good response from parents," she said.
Manjarrez and her co-workers began holding Klub Friday Nite three years ago, after seeing a similar program become extremely popular at another park district.
The idea has been just as well-liked in South Elgin, drawing between 140 and 200 students in fifth through eighth grades for each event. …