Children’s Festival to provide educational experiences in a fun environment
By Jennifer Fredrick
Marshfield School District Career and Technical Education Coordinator
Marshfield’s 15th annual Children’s Festival will be bigger and better than ever, said event co-chairs Marliss Trudeau and Ali Luedtke. The theme for this year’s festival, “Movin’ and Groovin’,” embodies a fun and active atmosphere. The Marshfield Children’s Festival takes place Saturday, April 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Marshfield High School (MHS). Admission is $2.
At the Children’s Festival, Healthy Lifestyles-Marshfield Area Coalition will put on a bike rodeo where children in grades K-6 can bring their bikes for a safety inspection. The inspections will include checking tires, brakes, helmets, chains, and frames to ensure they are working properly. There will be education on the safety rules of the road. Children will then have a chance to ride their bikes through a mini bike course and apply the rules they have learned. Healthy Lifestyles will also provide educational materials on bike safety and the benefits of biking.
Another popular activity is provided by members of the Central Wisconsin Home Builders Association. Volunteers from the Home Builders Association will help children craft a toy out of wood.
“Members of the Home Builders cut out the pieces from scrap wood and help the children and parents make the toys using little hammers and nails. The kids are so proud of their projects,” said Trudeau. “Each year the Home Builders change it a little bit. They usually have three different kits made up, and the children can each choose one.”
The building projects are provided at no extra charge to the children attending the festival.
The Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital/Marshfield Clinic Teddy Bear Clinic helps children learn about a medical examination in a non-threatening environment.
“Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Marshfield Clinic donate 300 teddy bears. They’re gone within a couple of hours, so we encourage children to bring their own teddy bear for the clinic,” said Jane Wagner, a Marshfield Children’s Festival volunteer. The teddy bears get a pretend checkup so the children can learn what happens when they go to a doctor.
A special play area will feature inflatables and games from H2 Extreme Party Rentals. Performances by Main Street Conservatory of Dance, UWSP Aber Suzuki Center, Reis Martial Arts, M & M Team, and WI FACETS are also scheduled throughout the event.
Parents and children can visit over 50 booths showcasing educational information related to children and families.
The MHS Careers with Kids students and their teacher, Jennifer Fredrick, also invite participants to join in children’s games and activities. A concession stand will be hosted by Carla MacArthur and students in Family and Consumer Sciences classes.
“Families can really plan to spend the entire time at the Festival. They can play and have lunch and then play some more,” said MacArthur. The students will sell nutritious foods such as string cheese and apple slices.
The Children’s Festival supports the Marshfield Human Services Academy located within the Tiny Tiger Intergenerational Center, which also houses Tiny Tiger Child Care Centers of Marshfield and Companion Day Services for senior adults. The mission of the Human Services Academy is to create a lasting bond between generations by educating youth in an innovative intergenerational learning environment.
In the Academy students learn about lifespan development, careers in human services, community agencies, and have the opportunity to interact with people of all ages. “All proceeds help us pay rent in Tiny Tiger for the Human Services Academy classroom,” said Fredrick.
Business sponsors help fund the expenses associated with the Children’s Festival so that all the money raised goes to the Human Services Academy. “We are so appreciative of the support of all our sponsors,” added Fredrick.
If you have questions or would like to get involved with the Children’s Festival, please call Jennifer Fredrick, Marshfield School District’s Career and Technical Education Coordinator, at 715-387-8464, ext. 4376.