A bunch of Seaford moms have found a fun way to keep their middle schoolers off the streets and out of trouble – especially in the long winter months when there’s a lot of downtime.
The idea dates back to 2015 when Donna Spinelli Jebaily, mother of three, decided she wanted to do something to give her tweens and those in her neighborhood a place to go on Friday nights. She thought they should be able to hang out and have a good time with their friends in a supervised environment. She contacted Seaford Methodist church and asked if they could use their space for activity nights. Pastor Steve happily agreed.
Recruiting other moms to help was pretty easy. Maureen Mele, Christine Kollar, Nancy Piccirelli, Dame Cascone, Patty Suppa, Michele Wider, Rita Matelone, Gina D'Orio, Virginia Di Tieri and Jillian Pelliccia from the Seaford Library joined right in. And the Seaford Young Life Committee was born.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Over the past three years, the Seaford Young Life committee has held 2-hour activities including: game truck/sports nights, make-your-own ice cream socials, DJ dance parties, game nights, Halloween parties, a mid-summer luau and a few movie nights held at the Seaford Cinemas. Children must be signed in and signed out by a parent or guardian, and there’s a nominal cost for each activity to cover the cost of snacks and materials. All the helpers are volunteers.
“This is something that we would love to see go on for years to come,” Jebaily said. “As our children get older we would love to pass the torch to the next generation.”
In fact, now that Jebaily’s oldest son James and another founding member of the committee - Madeline Kollar - are in high school, they’ll return to future activity nights, but as volunteers.
The 5th graders from Manor and Harbor elementary schools who are going into middle school in September are the future of the SYLC.
“It definitely takes a committee to organize these activity nights,” Jebaily said. “Sometimes we have 100+ kids, so there is a lot of planning involved: who will be picking up supplies, snacks, finding the place to do it, collecting money? Who works the door, who supervises the kids on the dance floor, hiring a DJ?”
The committee usually spreads the word via flyers sent home by the school which has been helpful in distributing them, and via the Seaford Moms and Dads Facebook page.