, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

April 13, 2011

Firetrucks, brass band delight kids

Community members and parents brought enthralling presentations to Early Learning Center students last week during Career Week, organized by ELC Counselor Shelly Holderby.

The school held special events for its kindergarten through second-graders throughout the week, beginning with an ambulance and ending with career dress-up day on Friday.

“We want them to become acquainted with the working world,” Holderby said. “So this career week gives them an opportunity to learn about specific occupations and along with that the importance of the subjects they study in school.”

Presenters showed students exactly what they need to learn math and reading for — such as being an artist, photographer, firefighter and nurse.

Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service was scheduled to visit with an ambulance Monday — but ended up going to save lives instead.

So, only second-graders. got to see the ambulance, Holderby said. But that didn’t faze the other students much.

“They had to go save somebody. That’s what they do,” said Sophie Simmons, 7.

Sophie said she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up because she’s partial to animals.

Ella Cook, 7, talked about becoming a teacher and said she enjoyed the firefighters’ visit and the lawyer who talked about Internet safety.

Wyatt McManus, 6, didn’t specify which presentation was his favorite. But he already knows exactly what he wants to grow up to be. “I’m going to be in the state army,” Wyatt said.

On Tuesday, all students got to visit with firefighters. The men, Darren Perry and Donny Harris, showed the students their protective equipment, firetruck and talked with them about emergencies, Holderby said.

Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Chris Wilson spoke with the students about Internet safety, and on Thursday, Jerry Huffer of Muskogee brought a brass band to the school.

Friday students saw local photographer Mandy Lundy and artist Lauren McKay, and students dressed up in their favorite outfits.

Additionally, about 25 parents came to their children’s classrooms and talked about their careers, Holderby said.

“We had several police officers, medical technologists, nurses and paramedics,” Holderby said. “We had a bank customer service representative, a dental hygienist. So many parents volunteered their time for the kids.”

Radio personalities Shane and Cindy Lee from 102.1 spoke with the students as well.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or

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