Hundreds of children and their families visited Lewis University’s Mini Campus at Kidzfest 2012 in Joliet despite the extreme heat on Saturday, August 4. The mini campus showcased the university’s programs while providing an entertaining and educational experience for children. Lewis University was the primary sponsor along with the Joliet City Center Partnership of the Kidzfest event, a free family festival for children to play, explore, imagine and create.
Youngsters received certificates as they entered the Lewis site and collected prizes as they completed activities at various booths. Each of the Lewis colleges were well represented and provided attendees the opportunity to learn about Lewis’ programs such as aviation, the sciences, media, education, nursing, business, criminal/social justice, athletics, theatre and much more.
One of the most popular attractions for kids was the plane at the entrance of the site. Families were able to capture pictures of their young ones on the plane and children were able to test their flying skills on a flight simulator program at the aviation booth, which showcased Lewis University’s aviation program. Kids went from being pilots to scientists at the biology, chemistry and geology booth, where youngsters tested their science skills by mixing chemicals to make silly putty and examining prehistoric fossils.
Children also took a sneak peek into the future of technology and controlled actual robots at a Computer Science and Math exhibit. The Lewis University LUTV media van was on site with cameras and televisions for the kids to see themselves on TV and learn about television reporting.
Children met the “Cat in the Hat,”a popular and classical figure from the literary works of Dr. Seuss, while the College of Education entertained kids with stories and crafts.
Healthy lifestyle games informed children and adults of nutritional information and prizes. The College of Nursing and Health Professions area hosted free health care screening for kids and adults. To complement the health care screenings, kids received tips on how to improve their athletic skills from Lewis athletes. Then the Lewis University ROTC tested the kids’ physical fitness with push-ups and sit-ups.
Despite the heat, children clapped and sang along to their favorite tunes as Lewis University Philip Lynch Theatre performers entertained audiences with two shows. Children also showed their artistic abilities by painting a large Kidzfest banner, facilitated by the Art & Design Department.
“The collaborative, creative and enthusiastic efforts of our faculty, staff and students in presenting the Kidzfest activities provided an impressive showcase for Lewis University’s diverse academic programs,” said Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President. “I am very pleased by the spirited and generous collaboration within the Lewis Community to present activities that required much careful thought and preparation, resulting in very enjoyable learning experiences for these many youngsters.”
Approximately 125 Lewis University students, faculty, staff, alumni and volunteers were involved in the event. The event was co-coordinated by Dr. Marne Bailey (Biology), Carol Wassberg (Special Assistant to the President) and Jennifer Manderscheid (Regional Campus Assistant). Other Lewis faculty involved in the event include Leigh Bancsy (President’s Office), Dr. Jennifer Buss (Education), Leslie Colonna (Art and Design), Melanie DeBoer-Brunsdon (Athletics), Br. Thomas Dupre, FSC (Math/Computer Science), Dr. James Houlihan (Justice, Safety and Public Safety Studies), Keith Kameron (Project Maintenance), Dr. Jason Keleher (Chemistry), Margaret Kientop (President’s Office), John Kilpatrick (TV/Radio Broadcasting), Dr. Ray Klump (Math/Computer Science), Anne Koleff (Marketing and Communications), Dr. Ramona LaMontagne (Marketing and Communications), Keith McGill (Aviation), Casey McKenzie (History), Maureen Moore (Nursing and Health Professions), Major Roman Ortega Jr. (ROTC), Michael Progress (Business), Dr. Peggy Rice (Nursing and Health Professions), Melanie Sandberg (Conferences and Events), Kathrynne Skonicki (Marketing and Communications), Tammy Thurman (Justice, Law, and Public Safety Studies), Linda Whitaker (Education), Keith White (Theatre) and Caroline Wood (Business).
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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