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Clarence Public Library helps kids stay active

Children are introduced to different sports and activities in the Jump Bunch.

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | November 08, 2012

The Clarence Public Library offers several literacy programs for children of all ages. Not only does the library want to help your children learn and read, but it’s also the host of a physical fitness program for toddlers and preschoolers.

The Jump Bunch is a national program that encourages young children to become more physically active. It introduces toddlers to different sports and helps them build healthy habits at an early age.

Hosting a physically active program at the library is a little out of the ordinary for Director Monica Mooney. She decided to bring this program to the library to help younger children get rid of some of their energy, in a productive way.

“I thought it would be a nice way to bring parents into the library with their young children,” she said. “Children are full of energy and it’s a nice way for them to work off some of that energy and after, they can use the library too.”

The Jump Bunch is run by Sue Kreppel who begins her program with a warm up to help “wake up” the muscles of the children. She teaches different exercises to help strengthen their fine motor skills and balance.

“It’s drawn great attention in the Clarence area,” said Kreppel. “The great thing is that [the children] are having fun so they don’t even realize that they’re learning.”

Kreppel teaches this program as an introduction to healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle. She believes that it’s important to introduce this type of lifestyle to children at a young age, especially with the high rates of childhood obesity. She added that so many children are always sitting in front of the television or computer that nowadays, with our technology, they’re not getting up and becoming active.

The program was held over the summer and again in the fall and has had great success at the library. Considering the classes consist of children running, jumping and having fun, registration is limited to around 20 children and is required in order to attend.

The Jump Bunch is normally held in daycares and church nursery schools. Kreppel was surprised when Mooney had contacted her interested in the program. She later referred to the Clarence Public Library as what could be considered a community center. With so many different, unique programs, it’s not just about books.

Another Jump Bunch session will be held this winter. Each session lasts about three weeks and is free to attend, as all library programs are. For more information on the Jump Bunch and to find out when the next session will be held, call the library at 741-2650.

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