Children take a week of winter off |

Children take a week of winter off

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune
Dan Thrift/Tahoe TribuneDylan Gardner, 5, plays with the Lego city he constructed Tuesday at the Under the Magic Pine Tree Children's Center.

A child waking up at 5:30 a.m. Teen-agers skiing on a Tuesday in February. A 10-year-old girl feeling empty without doing math problems. What’s going on here?

Students at South Lake Tahoe are in the midst of a weeklong winter break from school causing parents to unload their children at places like day cares and ski slopes.

Stacy Romagnolo runs Under the Magic Pine Tree Children’s Center. She accepted 12 school-aged children from parents who had to dash off to work.

“We had to turn people away,” she said. “I do know it’s really a burden on parents. It’s hard for us to take the school-age kids when we have to watch the preschoolers.”

Romagnolo believes this one-week break is the toughest for parents since it doesn’t involve as much planning as Christmas and Easter breaks.

Romagnolo said won ton soup, fried rice and pot stickers were being made for the children for the Chinese New Year.

Amanda Strong, however, likes the food at Tahoe Valley Elementary better. Strong, 10, was busy drawing a cheetah with her two friends at the children’s center. She is indifferent as to whether she prefers school to day care.

“I like being with my friends a lot and I also miss doing math,” she said.

Aimee Pitcher disagreed. She prefers day care.

“You don’t have to do math and stuff and you don’t read unless you want to,” she said.

Ryan Southard, 10, didn’t miss doing math or language arts but he did miss starting his day at 8:30 a.m.

“We had to wake up at 5:30 and get ready because my mom had to go to work at 7,” he said. “I’m not used to waking up so early and getting ready when I’m half asleep.”

Kristi Cain doesn’t have to scramble to find activities for her children. Her 14-year-old son Jakob is busy splitting six days of working and skiing at Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort this week. Her other son, Mason, is a preschooler.

But she does have to do some extra driving.

“We live so far out but that’s OK, that’s my job, I’m a mom,” she said.

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