By Megan Hansen/Around & About editor

Every semester for the past five or six years the REC 311 class – introduction to recreation therapy – has hosted the Eastern Great Escape Special Event. The Great Escape Special Event will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Wednesday on the Begley Concourse.

This year’s theme for the Great Escape Special Event is Caribbean Escape.

“Every semester the class picks a different theme for the event,” said Sherry Jones, REC 311 professor.

The REC 311 class has invited members of the Madison County High School Alternative Education Program to participate in the event.

Jones said between 40 and 50 students between the ages of 13 and 18 will be attending the Caribbean Escape.

The students who attend the event are either socially or economically disadvantaged, Jones said.

Every semester the Great Escape Special Event starts with no money.

“We work solely on donations,” Jones explained. “The community has been great.”

The Caribbean Escape gives Madison County students an opportunity to come on campus.

“They enjoy it because they get out of school,” Jones said.

At the event there will be food, games, prizes and goodie bags.

“We will feed the students when they first arrive,” Jones said.

A vending company has donated a variety of snacks for the event including chips, gum and candy, according to Jones.

Also, the Caribbean Escape will feature a variety of games that work on team building, games that build trust and communication and games that improve cooperation, Jones said.

“There are also (games) that are just recreational,” Jones said.

Several local businesses have provided gift certificates to be awarded at the event, Jones said. The prizes will be awarded based on participation.

“There will be awards for cooperation, for being a fair player and showing the group how to work together,” she said.

She explained the awards are not based on how well someone does in the different games but on how much fun and enthusiasm they show while doing it.

There will also be an award for the most outgoing and energetic participant in the Caribbean Escape.

“This event is a win-win situation,” Jones said.

The community wants to invest in the future, and the class uses the event as a learning experience, Jones said.

The REC 311 class plans to continue this event as long as the school system will cooperate.

It is not too late to make a financial donation to help with the Caribbean Event. Donations can be made to the department of recreation and park administration; specify the Great Escape on the envelope, Jones said.

For more information on the event you can contact Jones at 622-1249.

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