No more excuses for, 'Mom, I'm bored.'

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Amber Gaab, 12, left, practices kicking a target held by Kalee Alexander, 10, during a karate class at the Dayton Community Center.

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Amber Gaab, 12, left, practices kicking a target held by Kalee Alexander, 10, during a karate class at the Dayton Community Center.

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Lyon County Parks and Recreation is expanding its youth programs, offering both year-round and seasonal activities, including new programs in Silver Springs.

"We're really proud of the progress we've made," said Denise Swanson, Dayton's recreation coordinator for Lyon County Human Services. "We've finally got dance back in Dayton. The community has been so receptive to (dance classes), how could we not bring them back? We've also been fighting very hard for services in Silver Springs."

All programs offered are user-fee based, with legislative funding covering administrative expenses, Swanson said.

Additional funding for staffing and expansion of programs has increased since the August 2005 restructuring which placed the Parks Department under Facilities and Grounds and the Recreation Department under Human Services.

"The resources we've found under Human Services has been astronomic," Swanson said.

"Recreation plays an important role in our community," she said. "Without it our kids have nothing."

Swanson's goal is to reach those kids who are not into sports or other school programs.

"The problem is that not all kids are athletes, and they're cutting funding for our school programs, such as music and art, which truly is the basis of our being," she said.

"That's exactly where we would like to go with this, but right now, we're limited by space and time and finding instructors.

"Once we have a new recreation center, I would like to see one room for free-art expression and another for music expression."

Presently in Dayton, two sessions each of ballet and hip-hop dance are taught by instructors from DanceSpirit of Carson City. Karate and Comstock Youth Basketball are also offered, and soccer and baseball league registration is under way. Plans for soccer camp and other summer programs are in the works, Swanson said.

Yoga classes are taught by Theresa Simmons each Saturday at the Dayton Community Center. She can be reached at 885-1476 or for more information.

This is the first year many of the youth programs have been available in Silver Springs, thanks in big part to a 21st Century Grant.

Karen Spencer, recreation coordinator for Silver Springs, is excited about the changes.

"We now have Friday night open gym for middle school kids and Saturday night open gym for high schoolers, both from 6 to 8:30 p.m.," she said.

Ballet and karate are also offered for both youth and adults. The costs in Silver Springs have been reduced thanks to the grant.

"This way, we can offer classes to those that otherwise might not have access," she said.

Having local classes and programs also lifts the burden from parents having to drive to Fernley or Carson City, she said.

"My goal is to have something available in town, whether we offer it or another organization offers it, every night of the week," she said. "I think it's wonderful that the church opens its doors to our young people."

All Silver Springs classes are open enrollment, so there's no beginning or end of session to be concerned with.

"You know, so many of our kids have no support, and we do our best to offer that," Spencer said. "I invite anyone with special gifts to share to contact me, and we'll keep expanding the services we offer."

Swanson extends the same invitation.

"If there's anyone out there who wants to teach what they know - art, music, crafts, anything - call," she said. "Being able to offer diverse activities means more of our children are busy doing something productive."

Lyon County Parks can be reached at; or call in Dayton, call 246-6227; or 577-5055 in Silver Springs.

For your information

Lyon County Parks can be reached on the Web at; or in Dayton, call 246-6227; or 577-5055 in Silver Springs for information.


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