Summer children's programs coming to Starkville

Staff Writer

Various organizations are hosting summer programs at the Starkville Sportsplex for children of all ages.

Art for Tots, a summer workshop for toddlers and preschoolers, will take place June 4 through June 29 and July 2 through 27 at the Travis Outlaw Center.

The workshop for ages 1-2 will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, focusing on painting, coloring, drawing and sensory art.

The workshop for ages 3- 4 will take place at the same times on Wednesdays, focusing on creativity, imagination and fine motor coordination.

The workshop for five-year-olds and children with special needs will be during the same times on Fridays focusing on positive focus, parent/child bond and cultural development.

Organizer and instructor Latalla Harris said volunteers from the nonprofit organization Wheeling and Able, Inc. will help with the workshops.

"They are a group of individuals with special needs who contacted me wanting to help because there are not a lot of volunteer opportunities for those with special needs," Harris said.

Cost for the workshops start at $15 for one session, $25 for two sessions, $40 for four sessions and $75 for eight sessions, and participants can get a discount for donating art supplies.

All participants must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

"The idea for Art for Tots is to allow parents, nannies or babysitters to spend time with their kids and explore different aspects of learning through art, as well as have fun and make a mess outside of the home, while also allowing kids to bond with their family or babysitter for the summer," Harris said.

To register, contact Harris at or (662) 648-8137.

Also at the Travis Outlaw Center at the Starkville Sportsplex, the Elite "Travis Outlaw" Basic Skills and Development Basketball Camp from 8 a.m. until noon June 26 through June 28.

Space is limited, and the camp cost $80. Anyone interested can text message their email address to John Outlaw at (662) 418-1931, and registration information will be sent.

Yurusu Aikikai of Starkville takes place at the Starkville Sportsplex each week, with Aikido at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and Iaido at 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. and Aikido at 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

Aikido teaches a nonviolent way of life to anyone regardless of age, sex or physical conditioning.

Iaido is the art of drawing, cutting, cleaning and returning the "katana," or Japanese sword.

Chief instructor Trent Peacock Sensei, a 2nd grade brown belt, said anyone interested in joining the class can meet him prior to a class meeting or email him at

Monthly dues are $65, and new students can take part in a three month introductory special for $200 that includes a uniform. Students must be at least 14, but there is no upper age limit. Younger students with prior martial arts experience may be considered.