National Night Out offers safety, superhero-sized fun

| August 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Federal firefighters and neighborhood children pose in front of a fire truck at Friday evening's National Night Out event at Kaena Community Center. (Photo Island Palm Communities)

Federal firefighters and neighborhood children pose in front of a fire truck at Friday evening’s National Night Out event at Kaena Community Center. (Photo Island Palm Communities)

Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Super heroes of all shapes and sizes were out in force, Friday evening, at the Kaena Community Center’s National Night Out (NNO) celebration.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and Island Palm Communities partnered to bring the annual event, which promotes safety and strengthening neighborhood bonds, to the U.S. Army-Hawaii community.

The Kaena Community Center is the first of two NNO events. The second, at Aliamanu Community Center, takes place in Friday, Oct. 9.

Family-oriented
The family-friendly fun began with a superhero-themed parade at 4:30 p.m. and continued with keiki face-painting booths, bounce castles, food, dancing and a screening of “The Avengers” movie at 7 p.m.
Children also got to meet federal firefighters, police officers and other safety officials.

“Events like this are real good because it lets (kids) know about the different resources that are available, and who can help them the right way,” said Harry Lyons, a federal firefighter, as he helped youngsters clamber aboard a fire truck.
“I think it’s important to teach her to be comfortable talking to police (and safety officials) if she were ever to get lost,” added Christina Ludowese, an Army spouse who attended the event with her 4-year-old daughter, Constance.

Staff Sgt. Allen Collins, who brought his 8-year-old son Karter, said, “It’s important to know your neighbors, your community so (kids) can be safe. Especially when the parents are not around. Plus, this event makes it fun for them.”

Spc. Daniel McLain, Schofield Barracks Military Police Bike Patrol officer, makes sure a child is wearing a properly secured helmet before navigating the bike safety rodeo course at Friday evening's National Night Out event at the Kaena Community Center. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto)

Spc. Daniel McLain, Schofield Barracks Military Police Bike Patrol officer, makes sure a child is wearing a properly secured helmet before navigating the bike safety rodeo course at Friday evening’s National Night Out event at the Kaena Community Center. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto)

Despite warnings from forecasters of possible rain from Tropical Storm Guillermo, the weather held out and children were able to practice their bike-safety skills by navigating the bike rodeo set up by the Schofield Barracks Military Police Bike Patrol.

Focus on safety
The main thing was to get children to understand the importance of wearing safety gear, such as helmets, and the importance of stopping at stop signs and looking both ways, said Spc. Daniel McLain, Schofield Barracks Military Police Bike Patrol.
Added Military Police Bike Patrol Sgt. Nicolas Wood, “Kids will amaze you. Even the young ones ride quite well. But sometimes you have to remind them to slow down before they take those curves, and to always walk their bikes to cross streets.”

Beyond bike safety, he offered this tip to parents: “Make sure there’s always someone there to watch your kids. You don’t want a 5-year-old riding around without supervision.”

NNO: What exactly is it?

Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer
National Night Out (NNO) is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie, according to the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) website.

It typically takes place the first Tuesday in August and the first Tuesday in October. More than 16,124 communities in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide participate.

NATW established the first NNO on Aug. 7, 1984. More than 2.5 million neighbors participated across 400 communities in 23 states during that first year. NATW was founded in 1981 by Matt A. Peski as a way to keep law enforcement officials, civilian leaders and volunteers informed, interested, involved and motivated in their communities.

Children participate in a superhero-themed parade at the start of Friday evening's National Night Out event at the Kaena Community Center. (Photo Island Palm Communities)

Children participate in a superhero-themed parade at the start of Friday evening’s National Night Out event at the Kaena Community Center. (Photo Island Palm Communities)

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Safety

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