Community comes together for kids

Stand for Children Day attracts more than 1,000 to BG ballpark

More than 1,000 people walked around Bowling Green Ballpark on Wednesday morning amid a variety of booths and activities during Community Education’s annual Stand for Children Day.

This was the 15th year for the event, which highlights the importance of children in the community, as well as making adults aware of the services available to children, said Anne Grubbs, enrichment and volunteer coordinator for Bowling Green-Warren County Community Education.

“People need to pay attention to them, because they’re the future of our community,” she said.

The ballpark was a new venue for the event, and Grubbs thinks that may have attracted more people than usual.

It was cooler in the ballpark than in the direct sun at Western Kentucky University’s South Lawn, where Stand for Children has taken place in the past, Grubbs said. Community Education moved the event because of construction on the South Lawn.

The theme this year was “Good Neighbors” and the title sponsors were American Bank and Trust, the Kiwanis Club of Bowling Green and McDonald’s, Grubbs said.

Many local organizations offered booths with activities and information. At the station for WKU’s Confucius Institute, Niu Chunling showed people how to write the word “hello” in Chinese calligraphy. Chunling is from China and works for WKU’s Chinese Flagship program.

Chunling said she had great fun teaching children an aspect of her culture.

“It inspires them to learn about another culture,” she said.

Autumn Cramer, 8, came to Stand for Children Day with Community Education’s Summer Fun Camp. She sported a face painting and a balloon hat from booths at the event.

“I liked seeing all the different activities,” Autumn said.

Mikiyan Brown, 9, and Janay Bell, 11, were at the event with a group from Camp Good Times, a program at Parker-Bennett Community Center.

The girls both said they enjoyed themselves, dancing to music playing over the speakers and having their arms painted at a booth.

“The tattoo station is the best,” Janay said.

Debbie “Mama Smurf” Staley, manager of the Skate Box, handed out free day passes to the Skate Box. She said she wishes there were more opportunities like Stand for Children Day when the community can come together.

“You know how they say it takes a village to raise a child? This is the village,” she said of the people at the event.

Both the city and county school districts had booths with activities related to the Leader In Me program. Several elementary schools in both districts have implemented the program, which teaches children responsibility using “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Bowling Green Independent Schools let people to paint canvasses for each of the seven habits, said Leslie Peek, public relations coordinator for the district.

The event is a great opportunity to catch up with children in the area and let them have fun, she said.

“We miss seeing the kids in the summer,” Peek said.

At the station for Warren County Public Schools, children made leadership bracelets with a bead for each of the seven habits, said Joanie Hendricks, the district’s public relations coordinator. They also helped decorate a cardboard castle to demonstrate synergy and teamwork.

“It’s a quick little reminder of what they can do to be a leader,” Hendricks said.

Community Education also collected books at the event to send to Morgan and Menifee counties, which were hit by a tornado earlier this year, said Debi Wade Jordan, executive director of Community Education.

She said she’s grateful so many people volunteered at the event.

“I think it just expresses how much this community cares about its children,” she said.


Wilson, Laurel (2012, June). Community comes together for kids. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from