Stephens Lake Activity Center hosts arts-and-crafts event for kids

Story and photos by RAVEN MARAGH
neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

Jack Poston has been involved with the Columbia Parks and Recreation activities for a little over three years.

At Thursday’s Fourth of July craft day, 6-year-old Jack beamed with excitement as he showed off his decorated visor, the American flag being the most prominent drawing on his masterpiece.

Children's hard work is displayed on the table where they made their Fourth of July ornaments.

Surrounded by crayons, markers and glitter, all scattered on the table in front of him, Jack exclaimed, “I am interested in the American flag … I don’t know how to explain it, I just am.”

The craft day is one of several preschool programs planned for the community at Stephens Lake Activity Center year-round.

For Erin Carrillo, the recreation specialist at the Center, “just seeing the kids (as they) smile” is the reason behind her passion for coordinating events for families and their children.

Carrillo said she remembers when Jack was only 3 years old. She thinks it is always nice to see the children “blossom” over the years as they develop a sense of who they are in the process.

The educational as well as physical aspects to programs such as the Fourth of July craft are what thrilled Jack’s mother, Kelly Poston.

“(Activities such as this) foster a lot of the skills that the kids will need,” Poston said. These social skills, she said, are imperative as they mature.

Recreation Specialist, Erin Carrillo, organizes the Fourth of July crafts at Stephens Lake Activity Center.

Not only do the children involved in activities such as soccer and swing dancing develop these skills, but they also allow their parents to interact as a community, Carrillo said.

“We have fun no matter what,” said Jason Hanft, another parent at the event.

As the community gets ready for celebrations for the Fourth of July, the children of the preschool program are ready with their brightly decorated ornaments of red, white and blue.

For Jack, he plans to show off his flag to anyone who will take a look.

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