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Article Archive >> Featured Topics

Come Join The Kids Alive Fest At Children's Village

Come Join The Kids Alive Fest At Children's Village
by Rochelle Morrell, executive director at Children's Village

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 19th, from 11am to 3pm? The Village will be hosting its 16th 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 11:45am. At this time two area children will be inducted into the Children's Village Life Safety Hall of Fame. The youngsters are being honored for implementing skills they learned and practiced, as students at Children's Village, to effectively handle two separate emergency situations that occurred at each of their homes.
Guests can then watch officers from the Maryland Correctional Institution put their K-9 partners to work, beginning at 12:30. 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 1:15 watch members of the Maugansville Volunteer Fire Department perform an auto extrication, using the jaws-of-life. These first responders will show the audience what they sometimes must do to remove injured passengers from vehicles that are involved in traffic accidents. Their training, skill, and speed during actual auto extrications can mean the difference between life and death for trapped victims.
Then, at 2:00, enjoy the Ronald McDonald safety show. Ronald's interactive show is a family favorite as well. He'll share many safety tips that can help everyone be more careful and alert.
You don't have to wait for the scheduled events to begin - throughout the day children can compete in a Junior Firefighters Combat Challenge and families can complete Safety Stations. All participants will be eligible to win prizes. There'll be child I.D., courtesy of Gaye McGovern State Farm Insurance Agency, and car seat safety checks will be available throughout the day at Brethren Mutual Insurance's parking lot on the corner of Mt. Aetna Road and North Edgewood Drive right up the road from the Children's Village.
If you're at Children's Village at just the right time, you may see the Maryland State Police Medevac Helicopter arrive, weather and emergency response calls permitting. You can also be on the lookout for Sparky the Fire Dog. The word on the streets of Children's Village is that he'll be joining the festivities.
Throughout the day tickets may be purchased for children to ride the mini-cars or to test their ball tossing skills, timed by a radar gun. Maybe a new bike is on someone's wish list. If so, there'll be bike raffles that could make the dreams of two lucky winners come true.
With all this activity guests are sure to be hungry, so food can be purchased. You'll see members of the Williamsport Red Men grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for the crowd, and representatives of the Williamsport Lions Club will be deep-frying their famous funnel cakes for dessert. Hungry yet?
Attendees will leave the Kids Alive Fest with a wealth of safety information and skills acquired during an afternoon of great family fun. By participating in this community safety day, they can 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.
Although recent news stories are filled with concerns about safety, Washington County, Maryland is ahead of the curve regarding child-safety education. Since Children's Village opened in 1990, over 27,000 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 having a child attend Children's Village!
Instructors are professional firefighters and police officers who 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.
For the past three years, the Children's Village fire safety classes have been available to students from the Greencastle-Antrim and Waynesboro school districts, thanks to a committed corporate partner. This enables Children's Village to expand the outreach of its mission to an additional 600 students and their families, while also providing financial support for Washington County students.
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 16th Annual Kids Alive Fest on Saturday, May 19th, you, too, can support child safety in our community!
For more information about Children's Village of Washington County call 301-733-4443.

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