Kent for Kids teaches life lessons

Christina Stavale

A MedEvac helicopter lands in Manchester Field as part of an exhibition for Kent For Kids with the goal of inspiring young minds to join the medical field. DAVID RANUCCI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

As a group of 7- to 10-year-olds approached two car accident “victims,” covered in fake blood and wounds, their initial reaction may have been what one would expect:



“That’s just sick.”

To make them focus, their instructor, Heather Bukosky, part of the critical care transport team of Akron Children’s Hospital, reminded them they didn’t have much time.

“Guys, while you’re gawking, they’re dying,” she said. “Take your supplies over to your victims; it does no good to have your supplies over here.”

With that, the team of “junior paramedics” was underway in wrapping the wounds, controlling the “bleeding” and putting the role-playing victims onto stretchers.

These children were part of the Junior Paramedics and First Aid classes in the 31st annual Kent for Kids program, put on by the College of Continuing Studies. The program began June 11 and runs through Aug. 17. It serves as a “miniature college for kids,” said Tim Radden, director of the program.

Participants choose four, two-week classes to attend, and five two-week sessions are offered during summer.

“It’s a low-stress, fun program,” Radden said.

Last week, a helicopter landed in Manchester Field, and Radden said all other classes paused to watch.

The helicopter was part of a demonstration for the medical classes.

“It’s cool for kids to see a big helicopter land in the grass,” said Beverly Peterson-Fitts, assistant director of Kent for Kids.

Bukosky said the medical classes focus on backyard first aid. The accident victims role-play was their culminating activity.

David Fedyniak, 10, said he enjoyed the experience.

“It was fun, especially since we had fake blood,” he said.

Other classes also had culminating activities. The fencing class fenced against Radden and the dance, drumming and gymnastics classes put on performances to show what they learned.

A class of young reporters and photographers published the Kent for Kids Chronicle, a newspaper chronicling the past two weeks’ events.

Radden said the program is a good experience for kids and many stick with it for the rest of their lives.

“A lot of our teachers started here as kids,” he said. “We have lifers in the program; they went to camp as kids and now they help out.”

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].