Canarsie Park was definitely the place to be for parents and their young children on Thursday, August 25th, as it was there that State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud hosted her spectacular SD19 Annual Fun Day and Back to School Giveaway.
At the event, children were treated to many great, fun activities, one of the first being a Prize Wheel that they spun and won prizes based on which slot the pointer landed. Nearby, an area was set up where they played chess and other board games. There was also storytelling by author Kamla Millwood, who read to the children from her book, Peaches The Duck, and gave away activity books. A giant teddy bear gave hugs as part of a mental wellness campaign by “Worldwide Hug,” while a clown delighted the children with art created from balloons.
Even though it was a scorching day, the children had no problem climbing up and down a huge rock wall provided by the NYPD or joining a couple of Stilt Walkers as they performed a spritely dance. There was also a beautifully decorated truck, supplied by DSNY, which conveyed messages about the importance of recycling and saving the planet.
In the midst of all the fun, the children also engaged in some serious activities. At a FDNY CPR Training Booth, they were shown how to perform CPR and given “dummies” on which to practice. The FDNY also had a mobile smokehouse which they used to demonstrate how to react and potentially save oneself, or others, in case of a fire. Another agency, New York Life, provided the children with ID’s that contain critical information about them and that authorities could access in the event there was an emergency regarding that child.
During the “giveaway,” over 600 backpacks stuffed with school supplies, donated by Kings Plaza Shopping Center and Broadway Stages, were distributed. Some co-sponsors also provided additional backpacks and other school supplies. Many children were able to choose which color they wanted. The Department of Education Summer Meals Program provided “more than 700 boxed meals,” according to the senator who cited the event as a major success.
A beaming Persaud thanked her partners, co-sponsors and many volunteers who were crucial to the event’s success.