Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti squeezed in with a group of kids from the ’s After School Program for a photo.
He ended up next to 7-year-old Ashleigh Chevaillier, mayor of Tiny Temple Terrace.
“I’m glad you let me stand next to you,” Affronti told her as the group shuffled into place. “I like your city.”
On Monday afternoon, kids in the rec center’s After School Program unveiled a tiny city they had created using recyclables—a “cardboard city where kids can be creative,” said Danielle Perez, youth program coordinator.
There was a bakery with a refrigerator and oven, a pet shop with a live grasshopper inside, a city hall with a moving elevator, a car wash with blue streamers for water, a rec center with an area view of basketball courts, an arcade where kids could actually play a game, a salon with a cardboard blow dryer, and a greenhouse with a sign that encouraged citizens to “Buy Local.”
The idea was to get the kids involved in an activity using recycled materials and tie it in with Earth Day (which was April 22), explained Perez.
Kids spent two weeks building the Tiny Temple Terrace, said Cori Collins, recreation supervisor for the City of Temple Terrace.
“We got to decorate what we wanted and had fun,” explained Tiny Temple Terrace Vice Mayor Louisa Morris, 7, a student. She said her favorite building was the salon because she helped create it.
Ashleigh said her favorite building was the bakery, but before she could explain why, a group of kids pulled her away so she could take care of pressing city business.
“You’re the mayor—we’re supposed to tell you everything,” they said as they dragged her from the greenhouse.
After a ribbon cutting, kids gave tours of their city to Affronti, Kim Leinbach, Director James Chambers, Chamber Executive Director Barbara Spakrs-McGlinchy and Chamber Administrative Assistant Lauren Tice.
Affronti said he was impressed with what the kids had accomplished.
“Thank you for all your hard work,” he told them. “You made a great city for us.”
The City of Temple Terrace’s After School Program is a supervised service at the Family Recreation Complex in which kids participate in recreational sports and athletic activities, as well as group games, themed events, and arts and crafts. It is open to kids in kindergarten through eighth-grade Monday through Friday during the school year from 2:15-6 p.m.
The fall session will run Aug. 21-Dec. 21. Resident registration will begin July 2; early registration will begin July 9; and regular registration will begin Aug. 6. The program costs $340 for residents or those who sign up early and $365 for non-residents. Kids must be members of the Family Recreation Complex to participate.
For more information, call 813-506-6600.