July 18th, 2012
Education and fun meet at Community Day
Both adults and children alike get their groove on as the DJ leads the crowd along as part of the festivities during the Library District’s Community Day on Thursday, July 12, 2012, held in the parking lot of the Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie, NY.
POUGHKEEPSIE - The Sno-cones were disappearing just as fast as they were being handed out.
Close to 450 sweet, ice-flavored treats were being inhaled on Thursday at the Library District’s Community Day, held in the Noxon Street parking lot outside of the Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie, NY. The impressive tally was a testament to the record numbers of children and adults who turned out for a City of Poughkeepsie community event that has been going strong for over 20 years.
“Every year this event gets bigger and bigger,” said Beth Zambito, Head of Youth Services for Poughkeepsie Public Library District. “We try to not only have fun things, such as a DJ and dancing, but community helpers, such as people teaching about traffic and fire safety, as well.”
The list of entertaining offerings ran the spectrum, including music, a hula hoop contest, face painting, balloon art and a mural table with paints. Children could be spotted throughout the parking lot, smiling as they dashed from one booth to the next.
“I want a flower on my face right here,” said one girl as she prepared to get her face painted.
Her friend, next in line to receive the facial decor, jumped up and down with approval once the floral image was applied.
About fifty feet away, other youngsters were testing out their hip swaying skills, taking part in the hula hoop competition. One of the winners, Cassidy Douglas, was all smiles when her first place status was announced.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Douglas. “I’ve done it before, but today I got to meet a lot of new people; I also learned a lot of new stuff, like how to wash my hands correctly.”
Thanks to one of the community helpers, The American Red Cross, Douglas learned the importance of getting in between her fingers with soap to thoroughly fight oftentimes hidden bacteria. The Red Cross further relayed hands-on information on disaster preparation, such as earthquakes.
“We hope to enlighten the community, while informing them about disasters as much as possible; it’s really crucial information to have,” said Robert Ongondo of the American Red Cross. “Much of it they can readily apply and do on their own.”
Other helpers lending their expertise included the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, the National Guard, Bike Safety Council and local firefighters.
“We have the kids climb on trucks, talk about fire safety, what we wear and answer questions for them,” said Kenny Garon of the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department. “The kids had a lot of fun climbing on the trucks, and they asked really good questions about being a fireman and the City.”
Not only were children actively engaged, but parents too were grateful for the community event.
“We have really made the most of the library (Adriance Memorial) here because I’m from Guyana, and they don’t have as many resources as they have here, so we are always seeking outer resources, such as this event today,” said Dion Douglas, a Poughkeepsie resident. “Today is a great way for the community to really connect to the library.”