By Randy Murray, Fort Stewart Public AffairsApril 29, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. -Trucks! Kids love them, especially boys. They tend to be fascinated with big wheeled vehicles from the day they're born. But it wasn't only the boys eagerly climbing in the driver's seat of fire trucks, police cars, utility service trucks, HUMVEES and Strykers during a half day-long celebration called Wheels Day as part of the Month of the Military Child at Fort Stewart's Child Development Center, building 403, next to Marne Lanes, April 23.
"Today, our kids get to see the vehicles Mom and Dad use every day," said Becky Pringle, assistant CDC director for building 403. "They get to see the emergency vehicles up close that they've heard and seen before. Now when they see them, they won't be afraid."
Pringle said the Wheels Day celebration was part of the events scheduled by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation during the month of April, the Month of the Military Child. Other special events for children this month have included a kids' fishing event at Stewart's Pond 30, field trips and concerts by Johnette Downing and Mr. Al.
Throughout the morning, children from Stewart's four CDCs and the 13 Family child care providers and moms escorting their own children came to Marne Lanes parking lot to see an array of wheeled vehicles. Youngsters waited patiently in line for a chance to climb inside a Stryker or sit behind the steering wheel of a fire truck. They also waited patiently by the curb outside the CDC for a chance to ride the train, a three-car trolley that rode them around the CDC parking lot while children's songs like "Old McDonald" and "Three Blind Mice" blared from loudspeakers.
As children waited at one station or another, characters like Bluebird, Dora and SpongeBob circulated among them, offering hugs and pats on the back. Pringle said there were characters the kids knew from TV. As these characters walked around among the big vehicles, it was another way of showing the kids these large, noisy vehicles are not to be feared. In fact, the Department of Emergency Service vehicles were repeatedly sounding off their sirens, a noise which mingled with the children songs and sounds of children's giggles and laughter, making the event memorable for all.
According to Maria Boiza, program operations specialist with DFMWR's Child, Youth and School Age Services, Stewart's four CDCs serve approximately 500 children, and the 13 FCCs serve another 100 children. Month of the Military Child events will conclude Friday with a closing ceremony at the building 403 CDC, followed by a picnic and carnival.