Cottage Grove, Education

School’s out for summer: Now what?


South Lane School District had their last day of school on Tuesday, and students said their goodbyes and headed home for the summer.
When I was a kid I couldn’t wait for the summer break from school. It was endless days of bike riding, building forts, big stacks of books from the library, swimming and, if we were lucky, getting put on the bus to my grandparents’ farm for a spell. There you could add messing with the cows and chickens, fishing, driving the tractor and taking the .22 out to the pasture to plunk cans to the list.
How surprised I was when I asked my students how their summer was during my first year as a teacher. ”Terrible, I was so bored”; ”Boring!”; and ”Awful, I couldn’t wait for school to start again” were typical of the responses I got from them.
As much as kids like to complain about school, apparently the only thing worse is no school for an extended period.
Well, if you are a young person suffering from the summertime blues, or if you are a parent of a student so afflicted, here’s some good news. There will be lots of things for you to do in Cottage Grove this summer.
The first resource to consider is your Cottage Grove Public Library. They had a big kickoff Wednesday for the Summer Reading Program, titled ”A Universe of Stories.” But there are lots of reasons to go to the library this summer. First, it is a very cool place to be – literally, being air conditioned. And they are offering free library cards for any kid who lives within the Cottage Grove city limits.
Even if you don’t, the library is the place for all kinds of free activities. There will be kids’ ukulele classes, story times, films, Lego Club, and stop-motion movie-making classes. And there are free trips to explore nature and local culture.
One the planned field trips, Nature for Kids ages 7 to 12, is to Dorena Lake for biking, kayaking, canoeing, art and food. Other trips involve hiking to waterfalls and trips to the Raptor Center, Natural History Museum and Amazon Park and Pool.
For teens ages 13 to 17 there are more adventurous outings that include whitewater rafting, Wildlife Safari and an Oregon Coast trip. There is also a Family Fun Picnic for kids ages 3 to 6 and their families from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, June 21. Ride the bus up to Dorena Lake and have a great time at Baker Bay.
To sign up for any of these adventures or to learn more about what is happening at the Library, go to the City of Cottage Grove website and click on the Library link or call 541-942-3828.
Another local hot spot for young folks is Delight, at 538 E. Main St. This youth-friendly business has quite an array of anime, Magic card games and Pokémon as well as cool stuff like fun socks, stickers, used clothes, cheap candy and other random things sure to ”Delight” youth.
There is a community space that offers youth programs such as Lego Robotics, Dungeons & Dragons, game tournaments and art classes. They will be offering summer camps on acrylic painting, video game creation, coding and much more. There is a charge for these camps, but financial assistance is available. For a complete list of summer camps and to see their calendar of events check out their website: or give them a call at 541-948-3132.
There is nothing to make your summer drag along like an empty stomach. If you are hungry that can put a real damper on summer fun. Kids in school can be sure of at least a breakfast and lunch, but when school’s out that food security blanket can disappear.
Well, good news, hungry Grover youth: Food for Lane County is there for you. Beginning June 25 and operating Monday through Friday until Aug. 23 there will be breakfast and lunch available for kids and youth 18 years old and younger. In Cottage Grove, breakfast will be offered from 8:30 to 9 a.m. at Bohemia Elementary and Cottage Grove High School; lunch will also be available at those two schools as well as at Harrison Elementary from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.
Additionally, lunch will be provided at Gateway Apartments, 125 Gateway, from noon to 12:30 p.m.
For a complete list of Lane County food providers go to:
So don’t be bored, hungry or irritable this summer. Take part in some of these activities and don’t forget to grab a book or two from the library to keep your reading chops up. Or explore the selection of books from one of the numerous free tiny libraries throughout the Grove. Make your summer special by getting out and enjoying all that makes this a wonderful place to live.



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