Springfield Partners for Community Action sponsors KIDS DAY as a day of entertainment, educational information and fun experiences for preschool and school-aged children and their families. Proceeds from the event support the Champions of Character and Springfield Partners' Scholarship Programs.
NOTE: KIDS DAY AND CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER IS NO LONGER SPONSORED BY SPRINGFIELD PARTNERS. THE VIRTUAL CAP POSTING IS BEING CONTINUED TO HELP OTHER AGENCIES INTERESTED IN CREATING A SIMILIAR INITIATIVE.
Springfield Partners for Community Action involves children and their parents in KIDS DAY as an approach to bring the community together and to promote parental involvement with their children. Information is available at business and agency exhibit booths, while entertainment and fun activities are offered throughout the day.
KIDS DAY is held each year on a Saturday from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Over 200 volunteers are involved with the event. High school and college students as well as adults from local businesses, faith-based organizations, and human service agencies all donate their time to KIDS DAY both at the event and before. Student volunteers generally are recruited via Key Clubs and service organizations at the schools.
A Planning Committee is formed and meets monthly for a year before the event. This committee is responsible for special fundraising events, a phone-a-thon, and many mailings and phone calls for donations, sponsors, volunteers, etc. Various subcommittees meet more often as the event nears. These include Logistics, Fundraising, Marketing, Booths, etc.
Business and corporate sponsors are recruited and a special fundraising event is held about a month before KIDS DAY. This involved a Wine Tasting reception and raffle in 2004. An honorary chairperson is designated to help solidify community support and involvement. The City’s mayor was the chairperson for 2004. The media is used to promote KIDS DAY and to cover the event.
Some examples of activities from 2004 and 2003 include:
Having an identification packet created by the Mason’s Child Identification Program
Play an interactive money management game with FleetKids.com
Interact with a robot dog controlled by the Springfield Police Department
Win a prize at the healthy fishing game coordinated by DHHS staff
Discover the challenge of wheelchair sports with the Child and Family Service Agency staff
Watch the Lion Dance at the Vietnamese American Civic Association booth
Dip a Krispy Kreme donut
Bounce around in the Incredible Inflatables.
Food and beverages are given out by area businesses and organizations. Additionally, children receive many coupons and various other donated items like cone coupons from Friendly’s Restaurants, fries coupons from Burger King, flavored milk from Hood, bottles of fruit juice, apples, and fruit roll-ups from Springfield Performance Food Group, discount coupons from the Basketball Hall of Fame, Six Flags New England, McDonalds in the Zone, and much, much more.
Proceeds from KIDS DAY support local ventures. One year the proceeds were donated to the Champions of Character Program, which Springfield Partners offers in conjunction with the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Springfield Public Schools. Children throughout western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut are invited to hear a series of speakers addressing topics dealing with character development. Additionally, the program recognizes youth who rarely get noticed, reinforcing the importance of developing skills beyond the athletic field or even the classroom. The local business community and nonprofit organizations sponsor Champions of Character.
Proceeds from KIDS DAY 2004 were used to support Springfield Partners’ Community Scholarship Program. Most of the scholarships are awarded to non-traditional learners as well as to high school seniors. Scholarship recipients must be low-income Springfield residents who are involved with their community via some type of volunteer activity.
KIDS DAY is the largest one-day family event held in Springfield. Over 3,000 people attended in 2004 and over 5,000 attended in 2003. More than 200 volunteers gave their time and energies to this event each year and over 40 businesses and agencies participated with booths, demonstrations, games and prizes for the children.
24 scholarships were awarded in 2004 in part through KIDS DAY proceeds.
Paul Bailey, Executive Director