Two-year-old Mason Bedard plays a game as his mom Sara Bedard encourages him during the Kids’ Fest April 9 at Harney Sports Complex. Photo by Raymond Benitez-Santana/special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Raymond Benitez-Santana/special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Fort Leavenworth families attended the Kids’ Fest April 9 at the Harney Sports Complex. The event is coordinated by Child and Youth Services and Family and Moral, Welfare and Recreation to recognize the Month of the Military Child and National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

Maj. Alexander Howe, Information Operations Qualification Course student, kisses his 6-month-old daughter Petra during the Kids’ Fest April 9 at Harney Sports Complex. Photo by Raymond Benitez-Santana/Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Kids’ Fest was conducted in unison with Post Activities Information and Registration (PAIR) Day to assist in-coming military families during transition and create awareness of the free family programs available to service members and their dependents.

“During this month, we want to celebrate and highlight the military children and the sacrifices and resiliency that they have in our community, and the positive impact that they have on military families,” said Carole Hoffman, CYS coordinator. “The children are kind of along for the ride, they change schools, and they have to make new friends, but we celebrate the resiliency of military children. They amaze me that they move from place to place and change schools and yet they still come out very well adjusted, and that’s what we want to celebrate.”

Carole Hoffman, Child Youth Service coordinator, and 1-year-old August Korsholm try to get four of the same color playing pieces in a row while playing a game at Kids’ Fest April 9 outside Harney Sports Complex. Photo by Raymond Benitez-Santana/Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Activities included obstacle courses, gymnastics, ballet, Zumba, basketball, outdoor activities, a live DJ and more.

“My favorite activity was when I did gymnastics with Ms. Sianna,” said 7-year-old Jocelyn Faughnan, when speaking about her Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills Unlimited gymnastics instructor.

Hoffman said this was the first PAIR Day and Kids’ Fest offered since 2019, and that it was scaled back, without offering the usual face painting and inflatable play areas because of ongoing COVID-19 precautions.

Eight-year-old Rose-Claire Shields, 7-year-old Maria Dingbaum and 7-year-old Morgan Bedard mimic the steps of Holly Noel Harmison, Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills Unlimited dance instructor, while giving a demonstration to help promote the SKIES program during Kids’ Fest April 9 at the Harney Sports Complex. Photo by Raymond Benitez-Santana/Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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