Wednesday afternoon, Hillsdale Area Careers Center hosted a family night for the families of K-12 children from Jonesville, Reading, Litchfield, and Hillsdale. The Summer Send-Off event included a petting zoo, several crafts and play areas, bubbles, ice cream and educational activities for kids.
“I think it’s a great turnout," said Tina Siler, instructor of the Education Academy program at HACC. "The kids put it on themselves; it’s their final project. They were a little worried about the turnout because of the rain; they had to move everything inside and had to scramble a bit to figure that out, but I think it’s turning out really well.”
Not only did the students oversee the activities and interact with the families in attendance, but they also handled the business side of the event, including planning and advertising.
All of the students volunteered for the Education Academy program because they are interested in pursuing a career in education. Several intend to work as teachers in public schools.
One of the students, Piper, said she was lucky to be a junior because she has been wanting to go into education, but the opportunity that Hillsdale Area Careers Center provided with the Education Academy had not existed until last year.
“I like working with small children,” Piper said. “Everything about them – they are just fun to be around!”
Another student, Amber from Camden, shared how the program reaffirmed her dreams of working with kids.
“I’ve always wanted to go into education in some way. I didn’t know if teaching was what I wanted to do at first, but ever since I went in placement, I was like – yes, this is for me," she said.
The petting zoo was a huge hit, including three bunnies, three goats, two guinea pigs, a Heifer calf, and a pig named Hammy.
Alexis Novelli, a speech therapist helping to supervise the event, said, “Our families are loving it! I’m loving it! I got to feed mint to a goat, so I’m pretty stoked.”
This article originally appeared on Hillsdale Daily News: Hillsdale Education Academy hosts Family Night event