Friday was an eventful day for the Bluefield Parks and Recreation After School Program.
Community Connections, Inc. came in to talk about local police, bullying and giving back to our community.
Kathrn Kandas calls it “planting a seed.”
“We had a really enriching day. This all just came together,” says Kandas.
Bluefield PD K-9 unit, Sgt. Copenhaver and Thor, came for a meet and greet to tell the kids that police officers are on their side.
After that, the kids settled in to read a book about bullying called Gracie’s Guide.
Then, to wrap up the evening, the kids got a taste of what it’s like to give back to the community with a trip to the Mercer County Animal Shelter. It was Volunteer West Virginia and Community Connections’ “Heart with a Bark” campaign that inspired them.
“I think they really enjoy it. We have a lot of kids that are first time volunteers. They’ve not experienced anything like this and that certainly is our goal is to give them as much enrichment, expose them to as many activities that we can so that we can really foster in them what respect means, what being a kid means, what some things other people might go through that’s different than your life,” says Shannon Lowe, the Youth Development Director at Bluefield Parks and Rec.