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Volume 2 ISSUE



January 4 2013


FridayLetter THE

this issue In The News:

Park News P.1 Enterprise Services P.2

The Good of Community GardensData provided from M ark Crank, neighborhood act ivist, indicates that the good folks who participated in t he Thomasboro Communit y Garden donated 416 pounds of t heir produce to the needy in 2012 Park and Recreation has built and otherwise support ed sixt een (16) community gardens in various park and greenway locations throughout the County. These gardens, teach, provide, and help build strong community relationships.

Community & Recreation Center Services P.3

Park News — Partnership Produces New Approach to Combat Litter on Mountain Island Lake Nature Preserves and Natural Resources Staff from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation nature reserves, Duke Energy, the Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission, the State Educational Forest, and other agencies joined forces in an educational initiative to help curb littering around Mountain Island Lake. Information was gathered from over 100 lake users to help gain an understanding of littering issues and how people use the lake. As a result of this effort, new signs with a message about protecting the beauty of the lake have been installed. The signs feature three photos of local wildlife, with a contrasting photo of litter. The signs have been placed in dozens of locations where littering has been an ongoing issue.

Park Operations The Park Ops Weekly Minute is on Vacation this week! Catch up on recent Weekly Minutes by using the links below: Weekly Minute: Keep America Playing/ATV Safety Training Weekly Minute: Playground Guardian Weekly Minute: Ryan Newman Celebrity Bass/Partnerships with CFD and Boy Scouts

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Brunch with Santa at Tom Sykes Recreation Center

Cookies and Crafts with Santa –

On December 21st, Tom Sykes Recreation Center offered a special Christmas program, Brunch with Santa. Twenty preschoolers participated in this fun holiday program which included meeting Santa! Families also made ornaments while enjoying a healthy brunch.

Santa came to visit children and Senior Citizens at Mallard Creek Recreation Center. His first stop was to two sessions of the Cookies and Crafts with Santa class. These sessions had over 40 children, making Christmas crafts, listening to a Christmas story, eating cookies and visiting with Santa. He then went to visit the Seniors in the Senior Nutrition Program, where he took 30 sen- If you would like more information about upcoming programs, email or 704.432.4803. iors goody bags.

Tom Sykes Recreation Center

Start Smart Basketball at Tom Sykes Tom Sykes Recreation Center just completed its Start Smart Basketball program this past week. Fifteen children learned the basic motor skills necessary to play organized basketball and spent quality time with their parents. This program, for 3-4 years olds, taught children and their parents skills in dribbling, ball handling, passing, catching, shooting, and running/agility. Tom Sykes will be offering a 2nd class in January.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Out-of-School PLAY Days at Ivory/Baker While schools were on Winter break, Ivory/Baker Recreation Center offered a enjoyable alternative to staying at home for children ages 5-12 years. Participants enjoyed physical activities such as Christmas Song Charades and learned how to weave. A field trip included a visit to Duke Energy’s Energy Explorium and Latta Plantation Nature Center.

Keeping Kids Active During School Break Park and Recreation offers many options to keep children active, safe and learning during Holiday breaks. Encourage a family, community member or friend to seek out those options and what might work best for their families! Remember...Recreate All Year, even during the summer and school breaks!

Ivory/Baker Recreation Center


For more information on Out-of-School programs or other classes offered at Ivory/Baker Recreation Center, call 704-432-4580 or email

Hot Shot Basketball Competition at Ivory/Baker Twenty two youth & teens participated in Ivory/Baker’s first Hot Shot Basketball competition. There were six shooting spots on the court worth different point amounts and each participant had one minute to get as many points as possible. After three rounds of intense competition, Kenneth Weddington won after totaling 40 points in the final round.

Kenneth is seen displaying his trophy & Wilson Evolution basketball for winning the competition.

Enjoying the Great Outdoors at Arbor Glen Outreach Center

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Home Run Derby at Ivory/Baker Recreation Center Eighteen participated in Ivory/Baker’s first Home Run Derby! Each kid had ten swings to hit the ball over the fence. All of the kids received a participant ribbon and Judah Ravenell was the overall winner after knocking 6 balls over the fence. Judah is pictured in the middle, proudly displaying his trophy!

On Tuesday, December 11th the youth from the 4-H/ Afterschool Program at Arbor Glen Outreach Center enjoyed the great outdoors with a Camp Fire and Smores provided in partnership with the McDowell Nature Center; Fire safety was emphasized and the fun began.

Senior Computer Classes at Ivory/Baker Recreation Center Ivory/Baker held beginner and advanced computer classes for seniors this past week. The beginners are learning about basic keyboard and mouse functions, Microsoft Word, and internet browsing. The advanced class is focusing on Microsoft Publisher, Excel, and online banking. For more information contact 704-432-1531 or ArborGlenOutreachCenter@Meckle

Mini Chefs Work with Mini Marshmallows

Brunch with Santa at Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center A group of lucky preschoolers got to have brunch with Santa! Enjoying freshly made waffles sticks and apples while washing it down with hot chocolate. The children used their creative side to make reindeer hats before brunch.

Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center For more information on programs at Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center call 704-432-3048 or email BetteRaeThomasRecreationCenter@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities

At the Mini-Chef class held the 4th Tuesday night at Arbor Glen Outreach Center, preschoolers made their very own Rice Krispies Holiday Ornaments. They began their lesson with patterns, and how cookie cutters allow you to make up different shapes and designs; they then measured, mixed and of course, tasted the ingredients necessary to create these tasty treats. While their dish cooled, they stirred up a fresh cup of Limeade allowing them to learn the difference between a sweet and a sour. They pressed, cut, and decorated their marshmallow treats. Moms, Dads, and a little sister were able to enjoy their creations…not a morsel was to be had or to be hung on the tree.

Sandy Hook Condolence Cards from Arbor Glen Outreach Center Arbor Glen Afterschool program created cards to send to the families of victims in the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. Participants were instructed to express their heartfelt condolences and love, through drawings and kind words. These cards were forwarded to the Town of Newtown to be distributed to each family. For more information on programs contact ArborGlenOutreachCenter@Meck or 704-432-1531.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities NDRC Mentoring Matters vs. Charlotte Bobcats!: On December 12th, 18 teens from the Mentoring Matters program at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center enjoyed an evening out. Destination, Time Warner Arena to become a part of crowd cheering on the Charlotte Bobcats against the LA Clippers. They experienced an evening of music, a spectacular half time show, prizes and giveaways in which a few of our teens were the lucky winners of a t-shirt and a Michael Jordan hat. It was a great night and we look forward to more ventures out on the town.

NDRC Reading Program Kick-Off!: On December 12th, our youth program gathered at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center to begin our Reading program. The first day of our weekly program included read-a-louds from three Dr. Seuss books, a lesson on the importance of reading, and a wrap up about what the moral of the stories were. At the end of the first session, we will be having a special “Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!� Celebration in recognition of Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday, held March 2nd, which has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.

Naomi Drenan Recreation Center For more information about our programs and events, contact or call 704.432.5231.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Brunch with Santa-Elon Recreation Center: Elon Recreation Center hosted brunch with Santa on December 13th. This program was for stay at home parents and their kids. During the event kids were able to make snowmen, reindeer, and take pictures with Santa Claus! The event had a turnout of about 15 children. Everyone enjoyed fun holiday music and great food!

Elon Recreation Center For more information about our programs at or call 704.540.2426.

Teen Poetry Slam at RPSA The Revolution Park Sports Academy hosted a holiday poetry slam for teenagers. The young poets recited their own original poetry pieces, competing “in the ring” for three rounds in front of a live audience and receiving “Olympic” style scoring by random judges in the audience. A poetry slam gives teenagers in our community a chance to express what they are feeling and going through on a daily basis. A special thank you goes out to Slam Master Bluz of Slam Charlotte, who hosted the event and capped off the evening with a powerful speech on fatherhood.

Youth Fun Time at Ivory/Baker Recreation Center Ivory/Baker Recreation Center teamed up with the 4th & 5th Grade students in the Anita Stroud After School Program to decorate the lobby. Jamal, a 5th Grader, came up with the idea of creating a fireplace and stockings. The Youth Fun Time program at Ivory/Baker Recreation Center gives the children a time to do crafts, play a variety of games and much more. The program is held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month for ages 6-13 years from 4:30pm-6pm and it is FREE to attend. See Page 3 for how to contact Ivory/Baker for more information.

Revolution Park Sports Academy is located at 1225 Remount Road. For more information about Revolution Park Sports Academy or our programs, please contact us at (704) 432-4963.

Park and Recreation News: 5841 Brookshire Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28216 (704) 336-8840

Submissions for the Newsletter

Recreate All Year! As the weather changes, look forward to new and exciting way to continue recreating during the fall and winter months. Subscribe to the Park and Recreation E-Newsletter to stay up to date on activities that may be available to you.

Please submit all news for the Friday Letter to your Division Director for review and routing. Park Partners may contact Kesha Meads at

for publication assistance.

The Friday Letter Issue 62 December 21, 2012

National Gold Medal on Display at Recreation Centers The 2012 Gold Medal Grand Award will be making its rounds to all of the Recreation Centers “Stanley Cup” style. Presently it is on display at Mallard Creek Recreation Center. See it on display next at: Central Region: Arbor Glen Recreation Center (November 26—December 7) South Region: Southview Recreation Center (December 10—Decembler 21) North Region: West Charlotte Recreation Center (December 26—January 11)

Scenes from Events: Poetry Slam at RPSA

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Senior Leadership Team Jim Garges, Director Michael Kirschman, Deputy Director James Alsop, Enterprise Services Renea Barber, Human Resources Mario Chang, Budget Administration Lee Jones, Capital Planning Lola Massad, Community Services and Recreation Centers Jeff Robinson, Park Operations

The Friday Letter | January 4, 2013  

The MCPRD Friday Letter