For the last six years, early August has brought a celebration to Mandan's Dykshoorn Park. A celebration of health and learning for area school-aged children getting ready for the upcoming school year.This year's “Back to School Extravaganza” will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Kohl’s Cares and CHI St. Alexius Health host the event in conjunction with Morton Mandan Public Library’s end of summer reading program, Dacotah Lions and the Musicians Association Summer Band Shell Concerts.
Chelsey Kralicek, a marketing specialists at CHI St. Alexius Health, said the hospital received a grant from Kohl's that enables them to put on events such as the "Back to School Extravaganza."
"Our main goal with these grants is to educate children and caregivers about living a healthy lifestyle because of the growing problem in our nation of childhood obesity," said Kralicek.
The event will feature several activities for children under two tents, including the “Alex’s Buddy Clinic” where children can bring a favorite stuffed animal to be "seen" by a medical professional.Families can participate in educational booths, yoga for kids, inflatables, games, prizes, meet emergency personnel and check out their vehicles as well as receive a free child identification card from the Mandan Police Department and New York Life Insurance booths.
"Build a Better World" was the theme for this summer's children's reading program at the Morton Mandan Public Library, said Linda Austin, the children's program coordinator. Austin said about 550 area children participated in the reading program.
"There are statistics that show kids that aren't reading over the summer they get back to school in the fall and their reading skills are behind where they were when they left school in the spring. The purpose of the summer reading program is to keep that reading going over the summer so when they get back in the fall they are ready to go," said Austin. Lunch with Heroes will provide a free lunch for children at 12:30 p.m. before the event begins. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. burgers from Mandan Dacotah Lions will be available during the event.
To learn more about the event click here. For more information about the summer reading programs at Morton Mandan Public Library call 701-667-5365.
Tyana Johnson Reporting