Town Leagues Now Forming

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Registration for play in the town-sponsored fifth- and sixth-grade basketball league began Dec. 27 and will continue until Jan. 19. Parents may register their children at the parks and recreation office at Green Valley Park. The fee is $20.

According to town recreation specialist Charlene Hunt, most league games will be played on weekends. After the high school basketball season begins in mid-February, however, some could be played on weekdays.

Also on the upcoming agenda is the adult basketball leagues. Registration is Jan. 10 to Feb. 2. Play begins Feb. 21. The registration fee is $250 per team. For teams that wish to participate in a season-ending tournament, there is an additional $100 fee.

This year, there will be four divisions of play during the regular season -- competitive, recreation, 30-years-plus and coed. Players may register for one league only. The only exception is players can compete in two divisions if one is coed.

For more information on the league, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

Deadline approaches

Less than a week remains for taxpayers to make their contributions to the Credit for Kids tax program. The deadline for participating is Dec. 31. The Credit for Kids program was passed into law in 1997 by the Arizona State Legislature. It allows a household to deduct, as a tax credit, fees paid to schools for extracurricular activities.

Because the donations are a dollar-for-dollar credit, there is no cost to the taxpayer.

Individual taxpayers may contribute up to $200. Joint taxpayers can designated up to $250 for the program. The full amount does not have to be donated.

Contributors do not have to have children enrolled in district schools and do not need to live in the district to which they are making their donation.

In an effort to better inform the public about the program, volunteers -- including school children --ast month folded, stamped and mailed informational letters out to taxpayers urging them to contribute to the program.

The letters were printed with support from Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty, Stockmen's Bank and Pioneer Title.

Payson Elementary School Principal Roy Sandoval said he appreciates the extra support.

"Without the support of our community through Credit for Kids, we just plain could not offer after-school enrichments and many academic interventions," he said.

At Pine Elementary School, the program earned $47,760 last year. The money was used for the construction of the combination athletic field at the school. When completed, football, soccer, softball and baseball games can be played there. Credit for Kids money also has been used to support fine arts, technology and for educational field trips.

In Payson, where more than $190,000 was donated last year, the chief benefactor of tax money was the Stadium Improvement Project. Recently, new bleachers were installed on the north side of the football field and a press/announcers box was added. The next plans are to install a sound system.

Around the district, other schools reap the benefits too.

The Payson Center for Success used the money for career exploration, cultural awareness projects and the development of the yearbook.

At Rim Country Middle School, money was used by the musical theater, Outdoor Adventure Club and for a science olympiad.

Frontier Elementary purchased musical instruments with the money and funded the Wolf Impressions after-school program.

At Payson Elementary School, Sandoval and the staff use the funds for field trips, academic enrichment programs and the orchestra.

Julia Randall school officials used the tax money for field trips, special assemblies, band, orchestra and after-school enrichment programs.

At Payson High, tax money is used to purchase sports equipment, fund team transportation, for club activities and fine arts programs.

For more information, call (928) 474-2070 or (928) 476-3283.

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