ANDERSON — For the past six months, a group of seven students that attend Anderson High School’s D26 Career Center have been planning a free event where young kids can enjoy an evening of games and excitement.
On April 23 from 2 to 5 p.m. at D26, located at 325 W. 38th St. in Anderson, families can bring their kids to learn about safety vehicles. In the event of rain, there will be tents set up to ensure the event can still go on.
The event was planned by students in Jana Witte’s human services class who participate in the non-profit organization Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
In FCCLA, students do community service, including making blankets, adopting families for Christmas and helping the Erskine Elementary food drive.
“We knew if (kids) were able to climb into a firetruck or be able to eat or play a game, they’re going to enjoy the day,” said Makayla Bartlett, junior.
She noted that an event like this might spark career interest in the kids at a young age.
The event will include firetrucks, police cars, ambulances, military vehicles, bobcats and dump trucks. There will also be an appearance by a LifeLine helicopter.
Families can also enjoy carnival games, bounce houses, face painting and food trucks.
“Pretty much we have everybody in this (D26) building helping out,” Bartlett said.
The automotive class will be hosting a smash for cash booth. For $1, guests get two hits with a sledgehammer on an old car.
“Construction will be auctioning off playhouses that they built,” said Jace Phillips, senior.
The culinary arts class will be hosting a bake sale and EMT students will be taking blood pressure readings for guests.
“We’re going to have mini booths (with) resources for families that are in need,” Bartlett said, noting information about counseling and food stamps will be available.
This is the first year that students have created a community service project on such a large scale in her class, Witte said.
Bartlett explained that it was stressful at times doing the work of finding participants.
“You’ve got to get commitments from places,” she said, as the students had to get the safety vehicles to attend.
Despite this, Emily Dampier, senior, said that it has been a fun experience for her.
To fund the event, Witte applied for the 2021 mayor’s grant for teacher programs through the city of Anderson. The group received $2,000 from the grant and it fully funded the event.
This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin on April 15, 2022.