Staying Connected as a Community During Covid-19

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Photo provided by the author

Yoga at Family Fun Friday and Community Wellness Event.

More Yoga at Family Fun Friday and Community Wellness Event. Photo provided by the author

The Parks and Recreation Department has continued to offer a variety of new, engaging and fun programs during the fall for families to enjoy after a very busy and enriching summer. The pandemic has been a struggle for so many since March, and we have been trying to help you and your family cope, come together and bring some happiness during these challenging times with a wide array of classes, offerings and events. Our hashtag #StayFitSuffield is the theme that has been woven into all of our programs since the pandemic has begun, and if you have been following our Instagram and Facebook accounts you will find us using this hashtag quite often, and we encourage you also to use it!

Our talented Suffield-based fitness instructors, Joseph Hicks, Sarah Supino and Laura Dromgold, along with the Parks and Recreation staff, have been leading a variety of beneficial exercise programs and classes including Tabata Boot Camp, PowerBurn, Healthy Happy Hour-Mix it Up at the Barre, Energizing Vinyasa Yoga Flow, Lunchtime Yoga, Mindfulness, Resilience and Relaxation and other community-based wellness programs.

Our new Family Fun Friday and Community Wellness/Healing Event was held on September 11, instructed by Laura Dromgold. This fun community event combined meditation, yoga and strength-based exercises with a focus on a time to come together and learn beneficial stress-reducing exercises and strengthening techniques. The weather was perfect, and we had the class on the field at Bruce Park.

In addition to some of our traditional programs, we have increased our Family Fitness programs and have been utilizing the beautiful Bruce Park Pavilion and Middle School track tremendously throughout the fall for a variety of new classes. Programs have been live, in-person, and we offer some with Zoom options. Our sports programs have remained popular, and there have been many smiling faces at our soccer, field hockey, and horseback riding programs. Many thanks to all the volunteers, instructors and volunteer coaches who help make these important programs possible.

The Bowling Buddies group has been enjoying weekly Zoom programs since March that include Trivia Tuesdays, Bingo, Dance Parties and a variety of Game Nights. The group also enjoyed a fun outdoor walk event on September 17. On October 15, we had a fun Halloween-themed walk and exercise night for the group at the Middle School track, all while social distancing.

Children also enjoyed our after-school specialty classes, including our Fun Fall Crafty Creations program and Our Pumpkin Painting and Pizza party. The participants enjoyed making a variety of creative fall craft projects, including wooden signs, decorated mini pumpkins and door hangers. Many thanks to Donna Bielonko and Bielonko Farms for generously donating a tremendous number of quality pumpkins for all our Halloween programs.

Our new Storytime, Games and Fun Craft Party (Pre-Schoolers with a Parent/Caregiver) and our Spooky Story Time and Halloween craft programs were a collaboration with Kent Memorial Library. Wendy Taylor and I co-instructed this new program, where families enjoyed engaging stories, snacks and crafts! Our collaborative Town Halloween events, geared to the whole family on various dates throughout October, have also been well received. Many incredible pumpkins and crafts have been decorated and delicious treats enjoyed.

In addition to all of these events and classes, the Parks and Recreation Department collaborated with the Board of Education, the Town of Suffield (Youth Services, Kent Memorial Library, Senior Center, and Highway Department) and instituted and created the new S-Prep Program (Suffield Parks & Recreation Enrichment Program) for children in grades 1-6. This program helps the children and assists families, while providing a quality enriching program that has been held daily at the Senior Center. 

Thank you for entrusting your children and family with us throughout the year as they spend time at our programs and events. We have taken many measures for enhanced safety and know how important it is for all members of our community to stay connected and be included in these challenging times and always. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming late fall and winter programs. #StayFitSuffield !! 

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