Hundreds of children, teenagers and adults spent a fun-filled afternoon at the annual Child Youth and School Services-sponsored Kinderfest, April 20 at Cody Child Development Center on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
JBM-HH Commander Col. Carl R. Coffman and Command Sgt. Maj. Necati Akpinar dropped by to visit with the host staff, event partners, children and their parents.
A rainbow of decorated tables displayed educational information, including JBM-HH Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program and Director of Emergency Services. Arts and crafts tables for decorating foam sunglasses, making sand art, exploring ladybugs and earthworms were popular, but the longest lines were for face painting and enjoying chocolate and candy-covered bananas.
“I saw the police dog,” screamed an excited Briana Gilbert, 4, pointing to McGruff, the crime-fighting dog. “Police dogs sniff cars for bombs,” added Briana’s classmate Robert Carothers, 4.
From the obstacle course to the baby play area, children’s laughter resonated as they were entertained between games and crafts by two balloon clowns, Mr. Yahuti and B. Bow, while others were enchanted by magician Eric Henning.
“It’s important to have this event to spend time with other military Families,” said parent-volunteer Andria Cook. “I enjoy the chance to network with others, especially since my Navy husband is deployed.”
Parent Katie Caldwell, a Department of the Army civilian, agreed. “This is fun for the kids and gives parents the chance to meet others. We’ve developed strong friendships here.”
The annual festive event was the perfect celebration during the Month of the Military Child. Throughout April, the CDC focused on many events in honor of military children. “I think it’s extremely important that we show appreciation to our children because they’re just as much a part of the military as their parents,” said CDC Coordinator Arleta Briner.