By Northeast Community Center staff
For the Hollywood Star News
School has started, and kids are settling into the new routine: drop-off, pick-up, play dates and homework. But did you know that regular play and physical activity is vital for your child’s brain development, regardless of age? Sixty minutes of physical exercise each day helps with executive functions such as sequencing, memory, and prioritization; and playful activities may be a particularly important mechanism in supporting brain development.
From ballet to basketball and from yoga to yak herding (ok, we really don’t have yak herding, but we do have swimming), the Northeast Community Center has classes and activities to keep children of all ages physically active and engaged in activities that emphasize fun and play.
The NECC has long been a hub of basketball activity, and this fall is no different. Starting in September, youth ages 5-8 can learn to dribble, pass and shoot in basketball skills classes that help prepare them for league play beginning in October. Later in the month, soccer enthusiasts ages 6-9 begin sharpening their indoor skills, and volleyball players ages 8-15 can begin passing, setting, serving and hitting.
Also returning this year is the popular youth ballet program, taught by Katarina Svetlova. In September and October, young dancers explore the playful and exciting story of Coppelia, and in November the Magical Nutcracker Series begins. Boys and girls can be seen dancing like the Sugar Plum Fairy or fighting like the Mouse King at the annual Nutcracker performance held in mid-December.
New this fall are three exciting classes: Obstacle Course Extravaganza, Fall into Shel Theater Class, and Family Yoga.
In Obstacle Course Extravaganza, children ages 5-9 engage their creativity and construct a different obstacle course every week from cones, rings, tires, mats, jumping boxes, and balance beams. Held in the NECC Annex, the focus is on jumping, playing, hopping, skipping, crawling and balancing.
In NECC’s Fall into Shel Theater Class, students ages 6-8 will explore the works of Shel Silverstein and learn basic acting skills through creative play, poetry, movement exploration. And in Family Yoga, children ages 2-5 must bring a parent to share playful yoga poses, animated breathing exercises, and imaginative relaxation techniques.
This fall the NECC has also expanded its youth swim lesson program, nearly doubling the number of youth who will have the opportunity to learn to swim in a safe and inviting warm water pool.
Every child should have an opportunity to learn to swim, and as an independent non-profit organization, the NECC is committed to providing every child with swim lessons, regardless of financial circumstances.
So while your child settles into a routine this fall, don’t let them get in a rut. Whether your child likes playing team sports like soccer or basketball, or prefers constructing an obstacle course or exploring through theater class, the NECC offers opportunities for youth to engage in regular play and physical activity 60 minutes per day.