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Play time on the Bay

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Repulse Bay (Nov 22/06) - Sunday afternoons are the domain of Repulse Bay's youngest residents at the Tusarvik school gym.

This semester marks the fifth year Tusarvik has hosted Sunday play time for kids up to five years of age.

The program was the idea of principal Leonie Aissaoui.

Play time missed the 2005-06 school year because there were so many programs going on at Tusarvik, Aissaoui couldn't find the time to write a funding proposal.

Prior to that, she'd built the equipment up every year for the program.

Aissaoui says local parents like Sunday play time because it provides them with a little change of scenery to end the week.

"It's usually very cold in Repulse during the winter, and people are cramped in small houses with their kids and there's nowhere different to go," says Aissaoui.

"We have a big gym, so it's a chance for the young kids to have some play time.

"The adults can sit and talk while they watch the kids play, which creates a social aspect to the program.

"And, of course, there are parents who are still big kids at heart and are always playing along with the kids."

The first year Aissaoui wrote a play time funding proposal, she requested money to hire a supervisor and purchased a number of small tricycles. The second year saw her secure funding to buy big bouncing balls and a plastic fun barrel for the kids.

The next year it was time to buy small balls, a ball fun pen and a tot-sized trampoline. Aissaoui says it's good to expand the equipment so the kids who come back for a number of years in a row have something different to challenge them every year.

"We're starting to get pretty cramped for storage space at the school because we have so much going on, so this year we're only buying some extra balls for the fun pen.

"We're also hiring a student to work the play time this year instead of an adult.

"That puts a bit of money in a student's pocket and makes things easier for us because a student already knows the rules of the school."