After-School Recreation and Parks Program Relaunched

After a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a host of new after-school enrichment opportunities and early education programs are picking up again in Beverly Hills. At its Jan. 24 Special Meeting, the Recreation and Parks Commission heard updates from staff on the latest offerings within the recreation division for young learners and details for upcoming community happenings.

Events returning in 2023 include the mother/son and father/daughter family dances at Greystone Mansion and Gardens, and the annual Valentine’s Day dance at the Roxbury Community Center hosted by the Beverly Hills Active Adult Club (BHAAC) and the Beverly Hills Police Association.

Open to fifth-grade students and their caregiver or parent, the father/daughter dance will be held on Feb. 11 and the mother/ son dance will be on March 11. Both events include dinner, dancing, games, photo ops and a live DJ. “You can bring an aunt, an uncle, a grandparent, a caregiver, a cousin, as long as it’s an adult and a child, they would qualify for that father daughter or mother son,” said Recreation Supervisor Lisa Crespo.

“For the father/daughter, the child would need to be female and then for the mother/ son, the child would need to be male,” she added.

Open only to members of the BHAAC, the Valentine’s Day dance is a “great experience for seniors to meet and greet with police officers and department personnel,” said Matthew Brown, Recreation Services Manager. The event will be held on Feb. 13 from 1-3 p.m. Advance registration is required.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost our after-school vendor, STAR, who provided enrichment classes to both of our elementary school sites,” said Crespo. For one hour every day after school, the program allowed students to continue their learning day by signing up for classes ranging from science to dance, music, yoga and more. Recently, the city contracted with Parker Anderson Enrichment to be the new youth vendor, offering after-school classes in hip-hop dance and robot building, among others. Class additions offered this winter include “recycle art” and “weird and wacky science.”

In the fall of 2022, the city began offering a “transitional twos” early childhood program at Roxbury Park, designed to help 2-year-olds transition into a structured, classroom environment while also learning colors, ABC’s and following directions from teachers. “We are hoping it will help transition some of our two-year-olds into our preschool program with the city when they turn three,” Crespo said.

A new cooking class will also be offered this spring at the La Cienega Community Center for six to 12-year-olds, taught by The Culinary Dude. Beginning this year, a new vendor called Monkey Bar Music will have early education classes that introduce music and movement to children between 6 months and 5 years old. In the spring, Parker Anderson Enrichment will also have “Cooking Academy” classes and “Weird and Wacky” science classes for kids ages 2-4 at the city’s community center sites.