Kid's Night Out
By Molly Burnell, sports information assistant
February 24, 2005
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The collegiate atmosphere on Bluffton University's campus changed on Saturday, Feb. 19, as approximately 96 elementary school children converged upon Founder's Hall for the annual Kid's Night Out program.
The Bluffton baseball team, along with students from the Games and Social Recreation Class and recreation club members planned games and events for these youngsters. "The goal of this event is for the elementary and college students to have a fun, positive night," said Tami Forbes, health, physical education and recreation department chair.
Students in grades first through sixth were invited to attend the event. With all of the varying developmental ages of the children, the college students had to adjust the activities to fit the needs of each group. "This was a learning event for both groups of students," Forbes said.
Senior recreation management major Tony Douglas was in charge of planning and implementing games for this night as part of his recreation internship. Douglas used some homemade games as well as popular children's games. The children participated in activities such as Shark Island, Hungry Spider, Crab Soccer and Noodle Mania. "The event was a good opportunity for young children to find role models and build relationships with Bluffton University students," Douglas said.
Beaver baseball players acted as buddies for the participants and helped the children play the games that were arranged. "Kid's Night Out provides a great opportunity for our players to interact with young kids. The student athletes benefit just as much as the children do," baseball head coach James Grandey said.
Participants were awarded door prizes and a drawing was held where two participants won new bicycles. This year's grand prize winners were first grader Sara Matter and fourth grader Katie Palte, both from Bluffton.
With the continuing success of Kid's Night Out, the HPER department and Bluffton baseball plan to sponsor the event for many more years to come. Both children and college students alike benefited from the great outreach to the community as everyone walked away with a smile.