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GLENWOOD CITY — Many volunteers helped make the Family Fun Night a big success last week at Glenwood City Elementary. Families throughout Glenwood City and surrounding communities enjoyed free food and many engaging children’s activities such as face painting, activity stations, a bounce house and much more. The free event was hosted by the St. Croix Early Childhood Interagency Council and the Glenwood City School District. The Family Fun Carnival was made possible with the help of individuals, organizations, business leaders and many others.
Erin Kern, Glenwood City Early Childhood Special Education/4K teacher at Glenwood City Elementary, and Early Childhood Interagency Council member, has been coordinating the Family Fun Night for the past four years. The purpose of the free Family Fun Night is for families to get information on different resources in the area, have a free family night together, to get out and meet other families, and socialize in a safe and fun environment, Kern commented. “This has become an event that the Glenwood City community looks forward to, almost like a tradition. The students ask me every year when it is going to happen—the older students are disappointed when they become a little too old to join the fun in the bounce houses.”
Kern thanked those who helped make the event possible, including Early Childhood Interagency Council members, staff from Glenwood City School District, Glenwood City area businesses, Just Jump, Inc. of Somerset, and students who helped with face painting and other activities. She also thanked students who were in the UW-River Falls Early Childhood program for coordinating and working at the interactive sensory stations. “Dr. Molly Gerrish and her students are a key part of the event and families always enjoy doing the fun, hands-on sensory activities with their kids,” she said.
One of the goals of the Early Childhood Interagency Council is to bring families together through unique events such as the carnival. Other goals include increasing awareness about early childhood development, offering parenting classes to the public and helping provide better services for young children and families.
The council’s make-up is varied, including representatives from all seven St. Croix County School Districts, United Way St. Croix Valley, St. Croix County Birth to 3, St. Croix County Public Health, Child Care Partnership Resource and Referral, the Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley, University of Wisconsin Extension, University of Wisconsin River Falls and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College New Richmond.
Kern concluded, “As a Council member, a Glenwood city School staff member and a parent, I love this event for bringing the children together along with their families to get away from the business of everyday life, and just have fun making connections together.”