Families Find Fun and Useful Information at Children's Festival

By: Rowena Li Email
By: Rowena Li Email

A day for the kids, that's what the Children's Day Festival has been known for in Grand Island for 19 years.

It's what brings parents like Brad Nispel to return with their kids year after year.

"To celebrate children's activities and kind of family get together. Do something fun with the kids and have a good time," Nispel said.

His 10-year-old son Nathan added: "It's really fun and it's actually a really good turnout."

The Association for Child Abuse Prevention sponsors the free event, which featured more than 35 booths set up by various local organizations.

There are tons of games and costumed characters to entertain the kids, but parents said the festival is also beneficial for them. A key part of the event is providing parents with tips on keeping their children safe and healthy.

"There's like fire prevention and stuff like that helps with the kid's education and so forth," said Nispel.

St. Francis, for example, uses their Kohl's Growing Up Safe program to provide parents with personalized injury prevention tips based on each child's age.

"Really over the last 3 or 4 years, we've noticed parents taking in the information differently. They want to be on the social websites, they want to get emails with specific tips, and they really taking in that information differently, today's parents, and even grandparents, than 5 or 6 years ago," said Ann Brunzell, child safety coordinator for St. Francis.

Some groups said the festival also provides the perfect circumstances to reach parents who may otherwise not be aware of their services.

"It's an unique time, especially for the Hispanic population. It's very heavily trafficked by them, and it's a really great time, because typically they may not know their resources, and they have their children out here, stop by the booth, and get the information they need, and get connected to the programs that can help them keep their children safe," explained Brunzell.

In the end, all involved just hope the kids have fun.

Nathan Nispel declared his judgment: "We've done a lot of stuff over the past years, but by far I think this is the best year."


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