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Sunday, June 1, 2003
Last modified at 8:31 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2003
© 2003 - The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

t A-J File Photo

photo: entertainment


 
There are numerous family-oriented gatherings in Lubbock thorughout the year. Whether it's the Fourth on Broadway festival (above) or one of many others.

Lubbock provides choices for youth


BY RAY GLASS
AVALANCHE-JOURNAL

Legacy Play Village and HUB City Playground, additions in the past year to the local landscape, won't necessarily make raising children any easier in Lubbock.

However, they do offer more choices for kids in a city filled with possibilities -- from schools, parks and museums to concerts, sports and youth groups.

Legacy Play Village, a public facility built last October in McAlister Park, is a wooden playground with a twist. Its South Plains history theme, from main elements to a time line included in the design, provides a learning experience for youngsters.

HUB City Playground opened in April at Maxey Park, providing a totally accessible facility to children with special needs. The Helping Undo Barriers playground includes ramps to slides and structures, play stations, a covered swing area and accessible water fountain and picnic tables.

Both playgrounds were built by volunteers relying on donations and private funds.

Many activities and opportunities for kids and young adults come through the network of four public school districts and several private schools that draw students from the city. The schools offer a variety of extracurricular activities, including academics, music and athletics, in addition to Advance Placement classes, magnet programs and low teacher/student ratios in classrooms.

Outside of school, city youth have access to more than 3,000 acres of public parks, four public swimming pools and four public libraries.

The Museum of Texas Tech, the Ranching Heritage Center and the Science Spectrum/Omnimax Theatre offer exhibits to catch the attention and spark the imagination of youngsters.

United Spirit Arena books major concerts in its 15,000-seat facility.

The Lubbock Youth Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Lubbock rely on talented youngsters, and the Cactus Theater routinely provides a stage and microphone for aspiring musicians.

Kids can enjoy the rides at Joyland Amusement Park and get all wet at Texas Water Rampage.

Life in Lubbock offers more than recreation for youngsters, who routinely volunteer time in hospitals, churches and schools. They can work at community gardens.

Church youth groups are popular in Lubbock and are among the many groups dedicated to younger citizens. Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts chapters are very active, and the Boys & Girls Club of Lubbock branches offer a variety of activities.

The year-long Youth Corps program teaches teenagers about leadership, citizenship and life and employment skills.

Teenagers can also apply to serve on the Youth Commission, a city board designed to be an outlet for the youngsters' point-of-views.

Youth sports attract thousands of local youngsters annually. Soccer leagues are among the most popular, along with youth basketball, baseball, softball and football.

rglass@lubbockonline.com t 766-8745


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