City summer programs were success

This summer’s programs sponsored by the City of Franklin were successful all the way around.

Arlana Shields, community development director, told the city council Tuesday that the summer dance program enrolled 45 youths, and 25 performed in the final performance.

“The drop-off is due to other summer camps, summer vacations and some families moved to other areas and other competitions such as Junior Olympics,” she said.

The art program enrolled 14, 12 attended classes and there were three class periods for each arts discipline, Shields said. Seven students and one instructor attended the art show wrap, also attended by 181 visitors.

“Classes will be conducted this coming year so that students will be able to enroll in more than one art class,” she said. “Students seemed to enjoy the classes and their instructors, and those attending the final dance performance and art show really enjoyed it.”

Shields said many intend to participate next summer.

“We have a lot of talented people in Franklin, and I’m glad I get to assist with the program,” she said.

Mayor Raymond Harris said he was pleased with the participation in the two programs.

Recreation Director Chris Barrilleaux said the summer feeding program served more than 5,000 breakfasts and more than 10,000 lunches between the two recreation centers.

“The state came in and did a review,” he said. “We got a letter in, clean bill of health. That’s a good thing.”

Barrilleaux said the city wanted to “have a summer program after Little League was over…didn’t know how it was going to work. (Councilman Lester) Levine and I got together and talked about it. We had over 100 kids sign up to play baseball.”

He said some participants showed up that “didn’t have gloves. Didn’t know what strike three was. Didn’t know what ball four was. After about a week every day you could go to Broussard-Harris and there were kids playing on their own. They got interested in baseball, and any time we can have kids in the park, that’s a good thing.”

Sponsors and donations helped the program succeed. One local resident brought a “plastic bag full of gloves for the kids” and the local Little League donated older equipment to the summer program, Barrilleaux said.

“It didn’t cost the city a bunch of money and they have nice equipment,” he said. “The kids really enjoyed it and had a good time.”

“These programs were run successfully, we got grants for most of them,” Harris said. “The city had to put up around $4,300. That was our share on top of the grants, so it didn’t really cost us a lot of money to affect a lot of people.”

He and council members complimented both Shields and Barrilleaux for the successful programs.

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