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Kids invited to join in the fun during annual Beach Days

DANNEMORA Its summer, the time of year typical when the kids are complaining theres nothing to do. However, in the town of Dannemora, thats not the case. Angela Spahr, activities coordinator for the town recreation department, said summers in full swing at Chazy Lake Beach with the towns annual Chazy Lake Beach Days. Already, children and parents alike have been enjoying activities at the lake from swimming to kayaking and even activities on land like drawing, kickball and obstacle courses. This is our third year and its been a lot of fun already, said Spahr. It takes quite a bit of planning, but it gives kids something to do during the summer. Chazy Lake Beach Days is a series of afternoon annual summer events that began when Spahr served as chair of the towns youth commission. It was then, Spahr had the idea about providing activities for kids beyond the traditional athletic events hosted by the town. Weve always had the sports like soccer and baseball for the kids, but we wanted to give them something else to do when sports are out of season or for kids who arent necessarily into sports, Spahr explained. Through the financial support of the town council, the Clinton County Legislature and corporate donors like Stewarts Shops, the program has grown, giving families opportunities to enjoy what the season has to offer in their own backyards. A key element of the activities hosted by the youth commission is education, said Spahr. While physical exercise is a big part of what Chazy Lake Beach Days are all about, stimulating the brain is also part of the mix. Spahr, who is a special education teacher at Franklin Academy High School in Malone, said she understands the importance of keeping children active in learning during summer break. If you can keep a childs mind going in the summer, its so much easier for them when they go back to school, she said. The great thing about children is that you can get them to learn by doing activities like these and they dont even realize theyre learning. Spahr, who is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy, said she sees that from the perspective of a parent as well. My son participated [in the program] last year when we learned about volcanoes, and when he went back to school he needed to create a plaster volcano for a class project, said Spahr. So, he already knew all about what a volcano does. Having that advanced knowledge was evidence of how beneficial the program is, she said. And, if you kids keep busy, theyre less likely to get in trouble, Spahr laughed. In the weeks to come, the youth commission will host Science Day Tuesday, Aug. 12; Explore Nature Day, Friday, Aug. 15; and Art Day, Tuesday, Aug. 26. The days will have activities that range from creating miniature volcanoes and cyclones, to finding and studying insects and creating sand art. Art Day will also feature a chance for kids to make their own ice cream sundaes, courtesy of Stewarts Shops. Were just having a load of fun, said Spahr. The activities offered at Chazy Lake Beach Days are at no cost, with all activities held from 1-4 p.m. Spahr emphasized the program is open to all children of the town of Dannemora, including the village of Dannemora, and the communities of Chazy Lake, Upper Chateaugay Lake, Standish and Lyon Mountain. However, children will be allowed to participate no matter where they reside, she added. Honestly, we dont turn any kids away, said Spahr. The only stipulations are children younger than 5 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while attending the program and participants must bring their own snacks and drinks. Participants are also encouraged to bring a swimsuit, towel and sunblock. Flip-flops are allowed, however, a change of shoes is recommended. For more information about Chazy Lake Beach Days, contact Spahr at 735-4033 or visit the town of Dannemora Web site at http://townofdannemora.tripod.com.

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