The Guilfordian

Filed under Features, In Print

Kids Fest returns

“They’re just living life,” said junior Tibaria Alnouri. “Kids remind me to chill out. I’m really into theory and the abstract, and they just simplify things and bring me back to Earth.”

On Saturday, Oct. 28, Project Community hosted the 25th Annual Kids Fest in the New Garden Friends Preschool adjacent to Guilford College to welcome kids from all over the city to rejoice and have fun during the fall season.

Many of the participating kids came from tutoring sites that integrate immigrants and refugees into the community and focus on providing them with opportunities to receive a quality education.

“The purpose of Project Community is to bridge the gap between Guilford College students and the Bonner sites we work with around the triad area,” said Vice President of Project Community Annie Degraffenreid. “We want to raise a level of cultural understanding and to encourage students to participate in service and reflect on issue that will empower them to effectively bring about social change.”

Kids Fest is a 6-hour festival in which kids from six to 14 years old got to enjoy various activities such as playing tag, making crafts, dancing to music and playing soccer. Due to the possibility of rain, Project Community moved Kids Fest inside New Garden gym but managed to have numerous booths set up for the kids to engage with.

The kids came from community centers around Greensboro such as Glen Haven, Oakwood Forest, Legacy Crossing and Faulkner. Students Regin Musa and Ayom Piok from Falkener Elementary School had enjoyed spending time at Kids Fest.

“I like all the activities, but I really like the painting and the food and the music,” Musa said.

The event wasn’t just a gathering for kids, however. Volunteers from every corner of the Guilford community came to set up, run the booths, take care of the kids and serve food. This fall’s Kids Fest was junior Librado Mendoza Sosa’s fifth festival. As a site coordinator, he engages and works with the kids at the Oakland community center.

“I love working with the kids because it makes me feel like a kid again,” Mendoza Sosa said.

Many volunteers expressed the same sentiment of nostalgia. Senior Liz Kimbrough helped make oobleck to incorporate science into the fun.

“I think Kids Fest gives kids an opportunity to not only have fun and explore different events and to interact with each other, but also these are kids that wouldn’t normally have this opportunity,” Kimbrough said. “I like just giving them a chance to be kids and have fun for the day.”

Other volunteers commended the overall community and cooperation reflected by the event.

First-year student Madison Burkardt saw Kids Fest on the Guilford Buzz and volunteered in order to get more involved with her community.

 

“We have a lot of local businesses involved, especially with the food,” Burkardt said.
“We picked up the food from I think 5 different places, so I like the cooperation of the event.”

As Kids Fest brought people together from all over Greensboro, Project Community reminded the community of the main significance of their event.

“I hope that Kids Fest provides everyone with a small look at how a community should work with everyone coming from different walks of life to ensure that we all succeed and feel supported,” Degraffenreid said.

“I want the volunteers involved to walk away thinking more about how they can keep the ideals of kids fest in their hearts and minds throughout their daily life, and I want the kids to leave knowing they have a community that supports and cares for them and wants the best for them.”

Project Community is planning more opportunities for people to get involved in their communities. Alnouri reflected on the deeper meaning of Kids Fest and Bonner’s impact on campus.

“I think Bonner is overused as a marketing tool and then underrated on campus throughout the community,” Alnouri said. “This event brings all the best parts of Bonner to our campus, such as established relationships with communities, direct community partnerships and frequent volunteering. I think Bonner does so much for the school in terms of fulfilling its values, like service, diversity and equity.”

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