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Snow and ice outside did not stop the fun inside Foundation for Youth on Friday.
Children played dodgeball in the gym, made Christmas crafts, work on the Festival of Lights Parade float and giggled with friends as they tumbled across the floor in the gymnastics center.
Many area school districts, including Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. and Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp., canceled classes when a wintry blast delivered a mix of snow and ice to central Indiana.
That left some working parents scrambling for child care for the day.
By about 10:30 a.m. Friday, parents had dropped off 25 children at the facility at 405 Hope Ave.
“This is excellent. It’s convenient. It’s fun for the kids and safe,” Barb Flynn of Columbus, who also liked the $10-a-child price for the day, which includes breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Nathan Larrison, director of the Boys and Girls Club, said FFY keeps the price low because they know snow days create an emergency child-care situation for some working parents.
Larrison said FFY accepts all children on a drop-in basis on snow days, regardless of whether they are Boys and Girls Club members.
Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and parents are asked to complete a visitor form. Children spend the day doing a variety of activities.
“I think snow days are fun,” said 9-year-old Logan Wood, who couldn’t wait to play in the gymnastics center.
The Richards Elementary School fourth-grader also liked that they got to pick some of the other activities.
Samantha Hedrick, 8, said she liked that she got to help paint parts of the float that was to have been in the now-canceled Festival of Lights parade in downtown Columbus.
“I got to play dodge ball in the gym, too,” said Hedrick, a Smith Elementary School third grader.
Seven-year-old Madelyn Fields likes going to FFY and was looking forward to having pizza for lunch, but she also said she likes playing in the snow.
“I like to build snow forts with my sister,” said Fields, a Clifty Creek first grader.
In downtown Columbus, The Commons playground was quiet with just a couple families that had ventured out in the snowy weather Friday morning.
Jesse Goodpaster watched as his sons, 2-year-old Brysin and 11-month-old Braydin, played while their mother, Jessica Cross, worked at the nearby Snappy Tomato Pizza.
“They absolutely love it here. I figure if their mom could brave the weather coming to work, I would bring them down to play for awhile,” Goodpaster said.
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