Camp Unleaded in Valdosta, Some Parents Unhappy With Days Off

Most school children in Georgia have another day off Tuesday, all part of Gov. Sonny Perdue's effort to conserve energy in the wake of the hurricanes.

Empty school parking lots and full playgrounds can only mean one thing, that school is out. To kids, that's the best news ever, but for parents that means finding something for them to do while they're at work.

Steve Patelski says, "The city programs are all set up to where they'll tell you they're going to have a camp available, so it would be no different than having the kids go to school or dropping them off here."

The Valdosta-Lowndes Recreation Department opened the Craig Center for 'Camp Unleaded'. They did so in response to Gov. Purdue closing all public schools.

With a bad hurricane season and outrageous gas prices, Purdue wanted to conserve fuel by not having buses run for two days. In Lowndes county the camps will be open Monday and Tuesday.

Caterina Orr, the program coordinator, says, "So we will be here at 7:30 sharp, here and at South Lowndes for all the parents who need somewhere for their children to go."

Thankfully Hurricane Rita was not as bad as it could have been, and it hasn't had much effect on fuel prices. One thing’s for sure, the governor did gain one small group of fans.

Alex Burch, a student, says, "It's pretty exciting. It's not usual to have a Monday and Tuesday off."

And just a reminder, schools will be closed Tuesday as well. The Craig Center and the South Lowndes Rec Center in Lake Park will be open again Tuesday.

The cost is $16 and kids need to bring a sack lunch.

Not everyone was happy about the days off from school in Georgia. Two mothers took their grade-schoolers to the state's Capitol Monday for a ''teach-in'' on the steps, just yards from Gov. Sonny Perdue's office.

Suburban Atlanta mother Randy Faigin David says, "Every single day in education matters.''

In Washington, President Bush praised Perdue for his decision, saying the governor “showed some leadership in anticipating a problem.”


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