Day of Play Brings Local Youth, Law Enforcement Together
Togetherness. That is the word that best describes the 3rd Annual Day of Play. More than 100 students - kindergarten through seventh grade- interacted with Henrico County police officers and firefighters in an event designed to build positive relationships with youth and law enforcement.
Rain forced the event inside but CSL students adapted, turning Harvie Elementary’s gym, cafeteria and classrooms into a makeshift playground.
“The event ran like it was always planned inside. Watching the event go from paper to reality was an amazing thing to be part of." said Emma Ball, part of the CSL student group that organized the event.
With the help of volunteers, students rotated through seven different stations ranging from obstacle courses to face painting to Simon Says. Each station gave kids a chance to engage with a first responder in an informal, energetic setting. At every turn, officers and kids were laughing and enjoying themselves all in the name of unity and building stronger community relationships.
“I thought the entire Day of Play Event was a huge success from the planning, coordination, and implementation,” said Kenny Ragland, Executive Director of the Henrico Police Athletic League. “The goal of enhancing the relationship between police officers and Henrico PAL youth was definitely accomplished through the Center of Sport Leadership efforts. Thank you VCU.”
“This event was amazing. I really had so much fun. I intended on stopping by for only a little bit and ended up staying the entire event,” said Henrico County Police Division Captain and Commanding Officer, Kim Johnson.
The idea for the Day of Play came from a social action project submitted by a CSL student three years ago. This is the first year the event partnered with Henrico PAL.
“This was an awesome event! The kids had such an amazing time. I would love to see something like this happen at the other PAL site locations.”