Things have been changing for the Kid Connection, a daycare program offered by Sauk Centre Public Schools for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. 

Trish Bushard has taken on the role of director, teaching and keeping children engaged.

“I love it,” Bushard said. “It’s busy, it’s good, the kids are great, the days go really fast, and I feel like we’re learning something new about the kids every day.”

Bushard has worked with Kid Connection since it was first made available in spring 2018, and she has also been a paraprofessional for nine years at Sauk Centre Public Schools. She began as the Kid Connection director June 1.

“I know a lot of these kids from every day,” Bushard said. “I love being around kids. We’re always coming up with new activities, new field trips and new things to do.”

There are always plenty of activities for the kids. During the warm summer months, they enjoy going to the splash pad and the public school’s indoor pool, and they also took a trip to the movies at Main Street Theatre in Sauk Centre. They also like going to parks, and every Friday is picnic day so lunch is served outside. The kids will be going to the Hemker Zoo in Freeport July 24, and a bowling trip is planned for August.

Since Kid Connection was founded, the program has been at First Lutheran Church in Sauk Centre, except for the summer when it has taken place at the public school. Now, with the fifth and sixth grade classes moving into the junior high building, classrooms opened up elsewhere; room No. 10 in the senior high building was given to Kid Connection, where the program is currently being held.

The construction work on the school’s secure entrances has not affected the program.

“They’re pretty good to work around,” Bushard said. “They’re very neat and clean, and we have so many bathrooms and so many ways to get out of the building. You can’t hear any of the noise in here; the only noise is a few kids once in a while.”

Kid Connection is not in their classroom permanently. To allow for a final configuration of the space, the program is moving back to First Lutheran Church July 29 and staying there for five weeks.

“First Lutheran has been very kind and helpful to us in letting us use their church,” Bushard said. “They helped us with anything we needed, so they were really great.”

When the 2019-20 school year starts, Kid Connection will be back in room No. 10.

“We think it will be advantageous to be here during the school year,” said Brent Lieser, community education director for Sauk Centre Public Schools. “Now we can complement the other activities that are going on after school. They’ll come here after the school day, and we’ll take them to all their activities.”

Fall registration for Kid Connection is going to be ready soon, and Bushard and Lieser have been hearing interest from the community. They look to bring more kids into the program and keep it growing.

“We have great employees,” Bushard said. “There’s five of us, and as we keep growing, we’ll keep hiring.”

In this time of change, things are looking good for Kid Connection.