Crystal Love and her 3-year-old son, Jaxon, were ready for fall. After months of being at home, they quickly signed-up for several kids’ programs at Franklin Athletic Club.

“He’s in yoga and gymnastics and is taking swim lessons,” Crystal says. “Jaxon also attends the Franklin Academy Preschool next door and participates in other enrichment activities though the school. He absolutely loves this place. There’s nothing else to do right now.”

“Jaxon is very social. He’s so happy to be leaving the house. He loves being with friends,” Crystal explains. “He has no trouble wearing a mask. We’ve made it into a game. He’s excited to pick what cool mask he gets to wear for the day, whether it’s an animal print or Thomas the Tank Engine or whatever. It’s become part of his outfit.”

The team at Franklin Athletic Club is working to provide safe, in-person programming options for families that are ready for it, says Kahty Anguelova, junior programming manager.

“We’ve seen that some parents are just over all the virtual programming and are looking for activities for their children to do in-person, to have a sense of normalcy,” Kahty says. “Parents want their kids to have some exercise and, just as importantly, to have ways to socialize with other kids. We understand that not all families are ready for this, but we’re here for those who want it.

“Most families are coming to us happy, enthusiastic, and really want to be here.”

Franklin Athletic Club offers a variety of enrichment activities for children ages 2 to 15. The Franklin Academy Preschool serves children 18 months old to 5 years old with care, learning, and access to physical activities through the club. The club and school have guidelines in place to keep kids and staff safe.

“We have smaller class sizes now,” Kahty explains. “Everyone has their own yoga mat. In other classes, we use a dot to help kids keep their distance.”

“We’re taking it slow and really trying to consider all the safety aspects and decide how best to offer classes before adding activities back to the schedule.”

There are many ways for kids to be active depending on their interests, including yoga, kickboxing, karate, tennis, gymnastics, swim, basketball, and a fit kids class. Most classes meet weekly for 45 minutes.

“In addition to small group classes, we have individual lessons for swimming, gymnastics and basketball. If kids are less tolerant of face masks, they can do swim or tennis lessons. Students need to wear masks to get to the indoor pool or tennis courts, but then they don’t have to wear them during the activity,” Kahty explains.

Families are looking for ways to give kids an outlet for their energy, which is good for their physical and emotional wellbeing. Youth development providers across Metro Detroit, like Franklin Athletic Club, are offering creative and safe options for families to get much-needed variation in their routines.

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