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19th Annual Kids Alive Fest

19th Annual Kids Alive Fest
By Rochelle Morrell
Executive Director of Children's Village of Washington County

If you're looking for an enjoyable way to spend quality family time this coming weekend, why not stop by Children's Village of Washington County on Saturday, May 15th, from 11am till 3pm? The Village will be hosting its 19th annual Kids Alive Fest at their safety campus on 1546 Mt. Aetna Road in Hagerstown. Admission is free. The event is a community open-house, offering a variety of safety-education activities and fun for the entire family!
Scheduled programs begin at 11am with the Ronald McDonald safety show. Ronald's interactive show is a family favorite. He'll share lots of safety tips that can help everyone be more careful and alert.
The Life Safety Hall of Fame Ceremony takes place at 11:45, when an area youngster will be inducted into the Children's Village Life Safety Hall of Fame. The young man is being honored for using information he learned at Children's Village to save his family from fire.
Guests can then watch officers from the Maryland Correctional Institution put their K-9 partners to work, beginning at 1:00. This demonstration is a family favorite, as young and young at heart share the excitement of watching these dogs take a "bite out of crime". Their exercises include detecting drugs or bombs, apprehending a fleeing criminal, and finding a lost person. You'll be amazed at their skill and intelligence. Hats off to their handlers, too!
At 2:00 members of the Maugansville Volunteer Fire Department will perform auto extrication, using the jaws-of-life. These first responders will show the audience what they some times must do to remove injured passengers from vehicles involved in traffic accidents. Their training, skill and speed during actual auto extrications can mean the difference between life and death for trapped victims
Throughout the day there will be child I.D., using MdCHIP program courtesy of Gaye McGovern State Farm Insurance Agency and the Hagerstown Masonic Lodge, and car seat safety checks will be available thanks to Community Rescue Service, at the Brethren Mutual Parking lot at the corner of Mt. Aetna Road and Edgewood Drive.
You may also purchase tickets for children to ride the mini-cars or to test their ball tossing skills, timed by a radar gun, courtesy of Smithsburg Police Department. Be sure to look for Smokey the Bear. The word on the streets of Children's Village is that he'll be joining the festivities.
With all this activity guests are sure to be hungry, so there'll be plenty of food for sale, including famous funnel cakes for dessert, being prepared by members of the Williamsport Lions Club. Hungry yet?
Attendees will leave the Kids Alive Fest with a wealth of safety information and skills training from an afternoon of great family fun. By participating in this community safety day, guests will also support the mission of Children's Village.
Children's Village is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to provide elementary school children of Washington County with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to prevent injury and empower them to make informed safety decisions.
News stories often are filled with safety concerns, yet Washington County, Maryland is ahead of the curve where child-safety education is concerned. Since Children's Village opened in 1990, over 40,000 area youngsters have learned safe living skills at the safety-education campus. Every second-grade student in Washington County attends Children's Village for two-days of free life-safety education. Children's Village receives no direct funds from the Washington County Public Schools
The Children's Village program is designed to create a safer community, one child at a time. The curriculum centers on life-safety issues for elementary-age students. Yet Children's Village serves not only these students, but ultimately reaches members of the entire community, as children work with parents or other family members on interactive homework assignments designed to make their lives and homes safer. In fact, a Johns Hopkins study revealed that positive behavioral lifestyle changes occurred in over 50 percent of all households once a child attended Children's Village!
Instructors, including professional firefighters and police officers, present curriculum approved by the Washington County Board of Education. The Children's Village program provides two full days of classroom and hands-on experiences, one day dedicated to fire education and the other to personal safety. The Children's Village program is recognized as a national model for proactive child-safety education.
Yet none of this would be possible without the foresight and commitment of a community dedicated to transforming its grassroots vision for child-safety education into the current Children's Village program and campus. If you visit Children's Village for the 19th annual Kids Alive Fest on Saturday, May 15th, you'll be sure to have a great time and leave with safety information for the entire family!

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