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FCCLA fundraiser gives parents a break

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GREENFIELD — The Greenfield-Central FCCLA club is hoping to cash in on Valentine Day’s weekend by offering babysitting services to parents who need a night off.

The Parents’ Night Out fundraiser is being held over two nights this weekend and will offset costs for G-C students planning to attend the Family Career and Community Leaders of America state conference next month.

Children will be provided with dinner, a movie and games over the course of the evening, which is led by high school students and staff with experience in early childhood education.

The cost is $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional child registered by the same person.

FCCLA is a national non-profit organization for students in Family and Consumer Science education programs in both public and private schools. Greenfield-Central has offered clubs and events using some of the same standards and themes as FCCLA in years past but became re-affiliated with the national organization last fall.

G-C Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Michelle Overman is heading up the planning for the Parents’ Night Out, which she said is a step beyond babysitting because it is based on FCCLA principles.

“They’re actually going to be doing developmentally-appropriate games with them,” she said.

The goal is for G-C students, between Friday and Saturday, to provide childcare for 60 children, which would cover the cost of the conference and their hotel stay.

Overman hopes the community will see the Parents Night Out not only as a convenient way to celebrate Valentine’s Day but as a means of supporting G-C students who might not otherwise be able to afford the conference.

“We did a fundraiser this fall that helped some, but it’s not enough for all,” she said. “I know a lot of them don’t have it.”

This weekend’s fundraiser will not only help offset costs for the three-day conference, which is being held in Indianapolis March 7-9, but it serves as a project students can use in the state competition, Overman added.

The students who helped plan the Parents Night Out fundraiser will present a poster about the event to a panel of judges, talk about the activities planned for the evening and also reflect on the overall outcome.

Tiffany Cash, 17, has been involved with the club for two years and said she is looking forward to cooking with the kids. Heart-shaped pizzas with heart-shaped pepperoni are on the menu.

“I do a lot of cooking with my little brother, and I really enjoy it,” said Cash, whose brother is 4.

Parents can also be assured their children are in good hands, said Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Janelle Keusch.

“You know your kids are safe,” she said. “We have lots of high-school supervision in addition to faculty.”

Cash said she hopes parents will take advantage of an affordable service, even if they didn’t have plans to go out over Valentine’s Day weekend.

“You could just have dinner at home, and you wouldn’t have to worry about your kids,” she said.

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