KIC, children celebrate winter

tephanie Park

Chloe Froning, 7, from Holden Elementary, gets painted as a reindeer by Eddie Campana, freshman biology major, during the Blizzard Bash Friday evening in Eastway Lounge.

Credit: Steve Schirra

Graham crackers, marshmallows and M&Ms helped compose a different kind of construction zone for Kent State – a gingerbread one.

Carnival- and winter-themed activities, including face painting, raffles and gingerbread-house making, helped elementary school students celebrate the winter season at Kent Interhall Council’s Blizzard Bash Friday evening.

Traci Sanders, KIC’s director of community development, said the goal of the program was to offer a fun evening of winter festivities to local children while strengthening the community.

“Children are a huge part of our community,” she said.

Six-year-old Ian Dunn was one child who enjoyed the festivities.

Toting a Mini Wheels playset under his arm, Dunn ran to show his classmates the prize he won.

“I won the biggest thing I could find,” he said, shifting his sno-cone to his other hand.

Sanders planned the event with Kent Parks and Recreation School-Aged Child Care as a way to offer children a more exciting field trip.

Children from five local elementary schools, including Davey, Longcoy, Franklin, Holden and Walls, attended the event in Eastway’s lower lounge. The field trip provided fun opportunities for the kids while their parents were at work, Sanders said, adding the games, prizes and toys were something the kids enjoyed.

“When the parents came to pick them up, it was like Christmas,” she said, explaining how the kids showed off their new toys.

Stacey Kulik, freshman early childhood education major, said she enjoyed working at the event with her hall council.

“I love being around little kids and just interacting with them,” she said.

Thirteen residence halls participated in the event through their involvement with hall council.

“They took time out on a Friday night – they decided to stay and help students have a good time,” Sanders said. “It really does show that they care. They didn’t just throw a can in a box somewhere.”

Sanders said working with the children allowed volunteers to see who they were helping and the positive effect their efforts had.

Freshman Katie Bromley said she enjoyed seeing the kids happy. As an integrated social studies major and future teacher, she said she enjoys working with kids.

“It’s a really great thing,” she said. “When I went to school, we didn’t have anything like this where we could go and have fun.”

Bromley, a member of Dunbar Hall’s council, helped children build gingerbread houses at their table called the “Gingerbread Construction Zone.”

“There’s a lot of stuff for them to do,” she said, gesturing to the various tables around the lounge. “In fact, I would go play some of these games if I could.”

Overall, Sanders said she thinks the event was successful.

“You couldn’t walk into that room without having a warm, fun experience.”

Contact room and board reporter Stephanie Park at [email protected].