Children in the IHN Afterschool Program look forward to their Fridays. That’s when they get to participate in a Fun Friday activity. Recently, they walked to the American Red Cross – North Jersey Region, just down the street from IHN and met Eileen Painter, Manager of Volunteer Services, who trained them on how to respond to an emergency. They learned the stop, drop and roll protocol in case of a fire and how to report an emergency by calling 911. In fact, they engaged in role playing to make the training come to life. Lastly, they decorated pillowcases, the brainchild of a college student, that could be used as a quick way to stuff some much-needed belongings in the event of a home evacuation.
On another recent Friday, students again kept it local by walking to the Montclair Police Department. Detective Michael Lococo of the Juvenile Aid Bureau gave them a tour of the Juvenile Department where they saw a holding cell, learning that this was the place where children who committed crimes were detained until their parents could pick them up. He pointed out that small crimes can escalate to big crimes and encouraged the kids to stay on the right path.
The officer also touched on the racial issues that have been in the news and emphasized that police are there to help and that citizens shouldn’t be afraid of them. At the end of the tour, the officer handed out items to remind them of their afternoon.