Friday Knightlife to return to Kaneland community

By on January 10, 2014

KANELAND—Friday Knightlife is back.

The program, which ran from fall 2009 to spring 2011, has been resurrected thanks to the community collaboration of Peak for Kids, Inc., Elburn and Countryside Community Center and Sugar Grove Public Library.

According to Renee Dee, founder of Peak (Promoting Enrichment and Kindness) for Kids, the purpose of the Friday Knightlife program is to give Kaneland-area youths, grades four through eight, with more opportunities to connect with fellow students and other people in the community.

Dee said that the program is necessary to have in the Kaneland community.

“There’s nowhere else for these kids to go on Friday nights,” Dee said. “There’s no movie theatre, there’s no mall, there’s no open community center, there are no libraries open. There’s nothing.”

Dee pointed out that even children occupied with sports can find a little bit of free recreational time through Friday Knightlife.

“Kids are lacking (free time) in their lives nowadays. They don’t have it at school, especially in the middle school. They have 20 minutes for lunch. That’s it.”

Students who attend Friday Knightlife will have three hours to have fun on Fridays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Jan. 10 to March 21. Elburn and Countryside Community Center will have activities like basketball, dodgeball, floor hockey, Nerf football, Wii, ping-pong, air hockey, Guitar Hero and crafts.

Dee also plans to include karaoke and “weekly appearances” or “special attractions.” There may even be a presenter stopping by to demonstrate worm composting.

“People put the worms in the drawer, and the worms eat up all of your leftover table scraps and turn them into dirt,” Dee said. “So it’s just an environmentally safe type of activity.”

Dee is thinking up another possible plan—a Valentine’s Dance with live music.

Sugar Grove Public Library’s Friday Knightlife activities will include family-friendly movies, games, bracelet making, computer gaming, Wii, puzzles, dancing and music.

Dee plans to have Kaneland High School dance team volunteers create choreography for girls who want to dance. Meanwhile, teen volunteers are needed to help in the music selection department for Friday Knightlife.

“I’m a very conservative parent,” Dee said with a laugh. “So it will definitely be conservative but still fun. And we’re hoping to have some music going loud at the Elburn Community Center the whole time.”

Students who attend can purchase a cheese pizza slice for a dollar from Elburn’s own Paisano’s Pizza and Grill. Water and potato chips will also be available.

KHS students will be on site to offer mentoring during Friday Knightlife.

Meanwhile, parents can make Friday nights date nights, as they will receive a FKL (Friday Knightlife) Out and About Card that entitles them to 15 percent off food at local restaurants, including Open Range and Blackberry Bar & Grill. Those wanting a cool treat can head to Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville to buy one ice cream and get another free ice cream.

Java Plus inside the Sugar Grove Library’s Book Nook Cafe will offer 15 percent off coffee to FKL cardholders. Attendees can see Kaneland area musicians perform. Local band These Paper Hands will perform 7 to 8:30 p.m. this Friday.

To make this program come together Dee collaborated with Sugar Grove Library Director Carol Dolin and Bill Brauer. Brauer is the former head of Friday Knightlife.

Dee would like to eventually expand Friday Knightlife so that it runs from November to March and costs less. The current cost for 10 weeks of Friday Knightlife is $75 per student, or $125 for two or more siblings. The deadline for payment is Friday, Jan. 10. Those wanting to attend any program the night of the event can pay $10 at the door.

Interested teens who want to volunteer or are simply looking for further information can contact Dee at (630) 935-7834.

Meanwhile, Clayton Hannula, an eighth-grader at Kaneland Harter Middle School, expressed interest in attending Friday Knightlife.

“It kind of sounds fun,” he said. “Maybe having a little hang out with a couple of my friends. Maybe going out, just seeing a movie.”

Fellow eight-grader Annie Dydas said she’s also open to checking out Friday Knightlife.

“It’ll be really fun if everyone can get their group of friends to go,” she said. “Similar friendships will be made. People will enjoy themselves and want to come back.”