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"Kid's Day" at Bethel Fire Station meant to celebrate children and connect them to resources

Sunni Bean

On Friday, the Association of Village Council Presidents hosted “Kids Day” at the Bethel Fire Station. April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. The day was meant to celebrate children, and create awareness about resources by helping them learn about organizations that might offer help.

Firefighters helped set up plastic tables and games, and the tribal council provided swag to local organizations to give away. Each organization from Bethel had its own booth. The fire department handed out red vests and plastic firefighter caps, and had a mascot of a dalmatian in a fire outfit to hug and take pictures with. The state troopers gave out Rubik’s Cubes, with novel colors and designs. YKHC gave out pens and whistles, and pins that said “you are not alone.” Bethel Search and Rescue gave out compasses, miniature first aid kids and shiny emergency blankets.

“Our children in our region are really dynamic, they're very resilient,” said AVCP Chief Executive Vivian Korthuis. “They're extremely ambitious. And yet at the same time, our children are very shy and need all the support that they can get. So when I was walking around the room today, I realized that there are many organizations here at this first gathering or fun day for children that really haven't come together before.”

For the kids, it was a day to hang around the fire station, and with the costumes, they let their imaginations run. Korthuis said she was very grateful to have had the opportunity to make the community as good as possible as the nonprofit corporation’s CEO for the last seven years. She thinks that’s what parents and leaders can try and create for the children.

“Growing up, my first teachers were my parents and my grandparents. Being the oldest of seven children, it was always difficult for me to imagine some of the things that are possible outside our region,” Korthuis said. “But as I grew up, the opportunities became larger and more, to where I got to be able to do all kinds of things with a variety of different job opportunities and educational opportunities. But at the basis of it, I believe that, for me and my success, everything that I do came from my parents. So the role of our parents in our region is so critical, because that is the foundation from which our children grow.”

Sunni is a reporter and radio lover. Her favorite part of the job is sitting down and having a good conversation.