Shelton Parks and Recreation is sponsoring some exciting new programs for children this summer. \u201cWe tried to vary our offerings so that it\u2019s more than just sports programs,\u201d said Ron Herrick Jr., the department\u2019s director. \u201cWe also tried to keep it affordable,\u201d Herrick said. \u201cWe charge just enough to cover expenses and make a small profit. We use the registration money mostly to pay for the instructors.\u201d Activities for children ages 3-18 Children ages 3 to 18 are invited to learn about animals through hands-on activities and visits from live animals during a week-long program in July. Arts and crafts, LEGOs, science, visual art and performing arts programs also are offered. Most take place at the Shelton Community Center. (Story continues below) _________________ More a more complete summer program schedule,. click below: http:\/\/sheltonherald.com\/18543\/sign-up-now-for-shelton-parks-rec-summer-camps\/ _________________ \u201cShauna Dumas, our program director, has done a wonderful job of bringing in a variety of activities for our young people,\u201d Herrick said. \u201cIf the interest is there, we plan on expanding this and holding classes throughout the year.\u201d Participate in many different sports Basketball, lacrosse and wrestling are some of the popular Parks & Rec sports programs returning this summer. The sports programs take place at Shelton High School, and most are led by coaches at the school. \u201cWe try to get the coaches to teach the summer classes because this way the kids can see what is expected of them if they want to participate in this sport in high school,\u201d Herrick explained. \u201cIt\u2019s also a good way for the coaches to see who is coming up soon to the high school.\u201d Free playground program for ages 6-14 For 51 years, Jim Carey has coordinated Parks & Rec\u2019s free summer playground program. His assistant director this season is Michelle Dokla. \u201cI enjoy doing it,\u201d Carey said. \u201cIn this day and age, we know many families have both parents working and they want to make sure their kids are safe during the summer while they are away.\u201d At six playgrounds in neighborhoods throughout the city, children from ages 6 to 14 are able to stay in the program for the entire day. \u201cIf parents say so, we make sure the kids don\u2019t leave the playground,\u201d Carey said. \u201cHowever, we do have kids that ride their bike in and leave when they want to. Our goal is to give them as safe an environment as possible.\u201d In past years, the playground program has attracted from 450 to 500 children. This season, Carey has hired 15 counselors and two arts and crafts specialists. Field trips with playground groups Children participate in sports, games and art projects in the summer playground program. Three field trips are scheduled. In past years, children have gone to the Sports Center in Shelton and local movie theaters. \u201cWe want them to get enough time at the playground itself, too,\u201d Carey said. \u201cIt is a pure playground program.\u201d Every summer each playground sponsors a car wash to raise money for an end-of-the-year party. \u201cIt\u2019s worked out very well,\u201d Carey said. Playground program begins July 1 Parents fill out registration forms at the playground when they drop off their children for the first time. The playground program goes from July 1 to Aug. 9. \u201cThe most important thing is that we have a phone number where we can get in touch with the parents immediately if we need to,\u201d Carey stressed. For program information call 203-925-8422 or get flyers in the Shelton Community Center lobby. Also learn more about specific programs at SheltonHerald.com (search for \u201cParks & Rec camps\u201d).