PORTSMOUTH — Children sat in police cars, inspected firetrucks and watched a helicopter land during Temple Tots third annual Community Helpers Day.
“Community helpers are super important in a world like we live in today,” said Caroline King, Director of Temple Tots Daycare.
Community helpers such as State Highway Patrol, Portsmouth Police Department, Ohio Department of Transportation, Portsmouth Ambulance, Portsmouth Fire Department, Portsmouth National Guard, Portsmouth Sanitation and Air Evac 97 came out to Temple Tots.
“Kids are afraid of the police, our fire department, our National Guard, and heaven forbid if there were a fire at their house and needed to be rescued, they would be afraid of that firefighter,” King said. “We need to familiarize our students with who their community helpers are so they are not afraid,” said King.
All of the children had the chance to meet the community helpers, explore their trucks, cars, and helicopter, and learn about each specific job.
“This morning, we had a little girl (Lily Simpson) who was afraid and didn’t want to enter the building because the National Guard was by the door and I told her they were nice and to come meet them, but she was terrified,” said King.
By the end of the event, Simpson said her favorite part of the day was getting to meet the National Guard and being able to give them a high five. Another student, River Swearingen, said he had fun and his favorite part was the ambulance.
“I always have kids who are afraid, but by the end of today, every national guard, trooper, policeman, firefighter, will be getting high fives and they will no longer be afraid and that’s our goal,” said King.
King said she feels the event is just as much for the community helpers as it is for the children.
“They work really, really hard and our communities are safer places because of the men and women who are out here today,” said King. “I hope this lifts their spirits.”
Although the day is for Temple Tots students, King feels the event is a major shoutout to all community helpers.
“Fred Rogers says define the helpers in your community and that’s a motto I take seriously,” said King. “We need to teach our kids there is good in Portsmouth, Ohio and today proves we have more good in our community than bad.”
Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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