Teen volunteers make a difference

By Cierra Earl
Teen Reporter
Durham VOICE

The North Carolina State Fair is an annual event that many area kids look forward to every year.

The State Fair is such an anticipated event that this year’s theme was titled “Love-A-Fair.”

On the first Saturday of the fair, UNC-TV and Marbles Kids Museum, located in downtown Raleigh, partnered together to host an event for kids. There were many families that came out to participate in fun games, take pictures of PBS characters and win prizes.

Children pose for photographs along side PBS television characters. (Staff photo by Cierra Earl)

There were also many volunteers that had given up their Saturday free time to help with the event. Volunteers helped with the hands-on activities that the museum provided for kids 10 and under. Everyone had the chance to learn a little more about UNC-TV programming.

Volunteers helped by greeting participants and handing out stickers. They also gave PBS pals such as Curious George and Betsy from Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures, among others, a hand in interacting with kids.

While I was at the event, I talked to two teenage volunteers, Katie H. and Alyana W. Both teens said they came to help out and to make the day go a little easier for parents and their children.

The two girls told me about their views on the event and talked about the fun PBS characters that they were portraying in costumes.

“Kids need role models and these characters are the role models that they look up to,” said one of the teen volunteers. “The events also make the children happy.”

This was the first children’s event that both teens had volunteered for. They interacted with the kids by handing out stickers and dressed up as the PBS characters Clifford The Big Red Dog and Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.

During the event I also got to take part in the volunteer work.

I dressed up as the fun PBS character Read-a-Roo. I will admit, the costume for this character was very big and heavy and while standing out in the heat the suit turned sweaty and stinky. Yet, when I walked outside in that costume and saw the small faces of all the children light up with excitement and joy, I thought that being in that costume was all worth it.

Each child was given the chance to hug and high-five their TV role model, as well as take pictures for a long-lasting memory. After the event, I talked to Claudia D., of Durham, who was there with her husband and younger daughter, Andrea.

“These events are important for the children because there are not many activities for them to do back in Durham sometimes,” said Claudia D. “It’s always good to have events like this for the kids to have fun.”

Overall, I’d say that the UNC-TV and Marbles Museum event was a total success. With the many volunteers and families that came out, I think that many children enjoyed the afternoon with their role models and playing games.

I think many of them shared my opinion that they had a great time.