As students face more snow days, working parents have to make care arrangements for those students. Some parents have child care available while others have to take time off work to be home with their children, resulting in inconveniences for hourly workers or for their employers.
One Shelbyville church is offering help for those parents on snow days. First Assembly of God’s Snowed In offers a day filled with organized activities and meals students ages Kindergarten through fifth grade.
“I got the idea from another church out of state,” said organizer Tiffany Daniel. “We sent out letters through Main Street and Moulton Middle School about the program. Students have to be registered before they can be dropped off.”
“Right now we have more than 40 kids pre-registered. During the past few snow days we have had 12 to 15 come,” Daniel said.
The Snowed In program is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the church on days when schools are closed due to weather conditions. The volunteer workers include two teachers and a teacher’s aide as well as five or six other people.
“The teachers and aide give up their snow day break to help,” Daniel said.
Daniel explained that the day is organized like a Vacation Bible School with different stations, such as stories, games, arts and crafts, and videos. A “study hall” is also available for those who need to do homework. Breakfast and lunch are also served.
“It’s not a free-for-all for nine hours,” Daniel said.
Shelbyville mother Lisa Allen said the program has been “very beneficial” for her family when there have been snow days.
“I saw the flyer about the program in my daughter’s backpack and thought it is a much needed thing. I immediately signed her up,” Allen said.
Allen works everyday and her husband works 12-hour shifts two and three days a week. Her family and friends live outside of town, making it difficult to get her daughter to them during the treacherous road conditions. She has used the church’s snow day program four or five times this year. Other days her husband has been able to stay at home with their daughter.
“My daughter loves it - the people and the games they play,” Allen said. “It gives me peace of mind, and I’m not having to scramble for a sitter. It is so nice for a church to do this. It shows a lot of love for this community.”
The Snowed In service is free, but donations are accepted.
“There are expenses with food,” Daniel said.
For more information about the program, contact the church at 774-3277.