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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: September 13, 2011

Looking for free fun with your kids this week? Kidzu Children's Museum new outdoor program series "Plazapalooza" is offering family activities and games this Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday atop the Wallace Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill, weather permitting.

Tuesday, Sept. 13:
•    Preschool Storytime 10:30 a.m.
•    Crafts 11:15 a.m.-12:15p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
•    Games and activities 10-4 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 15:
•    Crafts 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
•    Games and activities 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16:
•    Preschool Storytime 10:30 a.m.
•    Crafts 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
•    Games and activities 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

With high gas prices and unemployment hitting the families hard, just about everyone is counting pennies and looking for free or inexpensive entertainment these days, and you can find more such activities in our Weekly Events listing.

How bad is the economic situation? Just today, the U.S. Census Bureau released a disturbing report that the number of Americans in poverty jumped to 15.1 percent in 2010, a 27-year high, according to the Associated Press.  The report showed that about 46.2 million people, or nearly 1 in 6, live in poverty. A study last month from he nation's largest hunger relief organization, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Feeding America, showed that in the greater Triangle area nearly one in four children live at risk of hunger.

While the current situation seems bleak, Gov. Beverly Perdue today launched a program to tackle childhood hunger in North Carolina, according to the News & Observer. By increasing children's participation in federal school breakfast and summer meals programs, the No Kid Hungry North Carolina program could not only offer kids more food but also could garner more federal funds for the state, according to WRAL. This plan sounds great to me.. Now let's hope that the 28 schools in the pilot program can attract parents to send their hungry kids there. Spread the word.

updated 1:50 pm., Sept. 13





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