Registration for most Parks & Recreation classes starts Saturday
By GABRIELLE FIMBRES
Tiny ballerinas in pink tutus spin and leap, tugging at their tights and stopping occasionally for a swig of juice from their sippy cups.
Across the hall, toddlers walk the balance beam and go for a ride on a rainbow-colored parachute.
Down the corridor, bigger kids learn self-protection and self-control through the martial art of tae kwon do.
It’s another Saturday morning at the Morris K. Udall Regional Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road.
Udall is one of a number of city centers that offer recreation classes to children and adults. The Tucson Parks & Recreation catalogue of fall classes is out, with registration for most classes starting Saturday for city residents.
Tucson mother Pamela Reitz-Bowman spends her Saturday mornings walking laps on Udall’s indoor track while her son, Ryan, 7, works on tae kwon do skills.
Daughter Michela, 12, is learning to hula.
The 41-year-old budget officer for the Pascua Yaqui
Tribe, Reitz-Bowman has had her family registered in city recreation classes for nearly a decade.
“We started with tumble tots when Michela was 3 years old,” she said.
Michela has been exposed to synchronized swimming, ballet, piano, musical choir and other classes. Ryan has taken tumbling and sports, and their mom has registered for yoga, fitness classes and golf.
Despite recent rate increases, Reitz-Bowman said classes remain a good value.
“Where else an you get 10 tae kwon do classes for $40?”
She wished the city offered more evening and weekend classes. “It can be really hard for working parents to find classes that fit into the schedule,” she said.
Reitz-Bowman and her children will be among about 7,500 participants in leisure classes offered by Parks & Recreation this fall.
“We have all sorts of visual arts classes – drawing, painting, kids’ mechanical art where you make machines, Magical, Musical and Gooey, where you make musical instruments and slime,” said Glenna Overstreet, parks and recreation superintendent.
“We have jewelry classes, pottery classes, dance of all sorts for all ages. We have piano, guitar, theater, sports, motor development classes.”
While city budget woes have resulted in fee increases, discounts of up to 90 percent are available to lower-income participants. City residents interested in applying can bring proof of residency to one of the Parks & Recreation offices or a recreation center to apply, Overstreet said.
Overstreet said her department strives to offer classes that appeal to all.
“There is something here for everyone in the family,” she said.
Automated telephone registration for Tucson Parks & Recreation fall leisure classes opens at 12:01 a.m. Saturday for city residents.
The 63-page class catalogue is available online at www.cityoftucson.org/parksandrec/Class_Catalog/class_catalog.html.
It also can be found at all city recreation and neighborhood centers, libraries, Fry’s Food Stores, Albertson’s stores, Blockbuster Video and 7-Eleven stores.
Classes range from $27 to more than $100, depending on materials needed, with discounts available to low-income participants. Most classes start Sept. 7.
Residents must have a client code, an account pin number and a credit card to register by the automated telephone system. Those numbers can be obtained by calling 791-4877 before calling EZEE Registration at 573-3933. Some classes fill quickly, and Saturday registration is suggested.
Mail-in registration for city residents starts Aug. 2, and walk-in registration stats Aug. 9.
For county residents, registration starts one week later, with an additional fee for classes.
On-line registration will be available starting with the winter catalogue, which is due out Nov. 1. For information on registration, call 791-4877.
CLASSES FOR DISABLED
A new Tucson Parks & Recreation aquatic center designed for children and adults with disabilities is slated to open in October.
The two-pool center, just north of the Reid Park Zoo entrance, will enhance recreation services available through the city’s therapeutic recreation department, said Beth Lucas, supervisor of the department and a recreational therapist.
Registration for the new therapeutic swim classes, for ages 6 months through adult, begins Saturday.
The Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center, which will be dedicated Oct. 9 and open for classes Oct. 18, includes an indoor therapy pool heated to 92 degrees and a shaded outdoor pool, open to anyone in with or without disabilities.
Other classes, including bowling leagues, social clubs, life and social skills and cooking, exercise and arts classes are available to children and adults with disabilities. About 900 participants are expected to register for classes this fall.
“We have all kinds of fun stuff that help participants achieve individual goals to the best of their ability,” Lucas said. The department also offers inclusion services, with people with disabilities enrolled in general classes.
For more information on therapeutic recreation classes, call 791-4504.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by FRANCISCO MEDINA/Tucson Citizen
CUTLINE: Selestina Martinez, 4, practices her dance moves during a hula class at Morris K. Udall Regional Center.
PHOTO CREDIT: XAVIER GALLEGOS/Tucson Citizen
CUTLINE: Mothers and babies warm up for the Little Movers and Shakers class at Randolph Regional Recreation Center.
CUTLINE: Gillain Rodgers, 15 months, crawls through a fabric tunnel during Little Movers and Shakers class at Randolph Regional Recreation Center.