Boulevard Gingerbread Hunt

Boulevard Gingerbread Hunt
Boulevard Gingerbread Hunt

            Boulevard STEM Elementary preschool students embarked on a daylong search for the elusive gingerbread man – a search that led the pint-sized students on an interactive tour of the Kokomo Area Career Center.

            KACC Paraprofessional Kathleen Rocha-Acosta planned the elaborate mini field trip for the Boulevard students, with the help of her co-workers at the Kokomo Area Career Center.

            “I have a wild imagination, and I have always loved seeing kids smile” Mrs. Rocha-Acosta explained. “When I plan this event, I try to make it educational as well as fun. The staff here at the Kokomo Area Career Center helps me pull everything off. Every single staff member in this building has done something to help me.”

            Boulevard preschool teacher Cari Richards and her young scholars began their mini field trip by making the short walk from Boulevard STEM Elementary School to the Kokomo Area Career Center. Along the way, the students found, and collected, pictures of the gingerbread man. The students counted 18 pictures total, which happened to be their number of the week.

            Once inside the career center, the Boulevard students and their teacher began searching for the gingerbread man room by room. The preschoolers started in Kellie Cloutier’s classroom. Although they just missed the gingerbread man, the students had the opportunity to learn about careers in Criminal Justice by completing a fingerprinting activity.

            The preschoolers visited seven other classrooms at the Kokomo Area Career Center, and completed activities in each. Students colored gingerbread men using Adobe Illustrator in the Graphic Design classroom, while being wowed by a welding demonstration in Adam Shepherd’s classroom.

Auto Body instructor Richard Shoffner helped the preschool students paint wooden blocks inside the spray booth. Students examined the undercarriage of a vehicle in David Lingle’s Auto Repair classroom. Culinary Arts instructors Shelley Rust and Dan Adams provided gingerbread cookies for the Boulevard students to decorate and devour.

After lunch, the preschool students learned the basics of anatomy as they created their own gingerbread skeleton in Judith Townsend’s Anatomy and Biomedical Science classroom. Veterinary Careers teacher Lacey Jones taught the Boulevard students about animals as she introduced them to kittens, a bearded dragon, and a bunny rabbit.

In the final classroom of the day, Alice McKellar’s Radio and Television Production lab, the Boulevard students caught the gingerbread man, played by KACC senior Greyson Bolding. Greyson agreed to return the gifts he swiped if the Boulevard students would sing a song with him. The preschoolers had the opportunity to record themselves singing Jingle Bells with the gingerbread man they finally caught.

“This was a very, very cool event for us,” Ms. Richards explained. “The career center planned wonderful, age-appropriate activities for my students, who already are thinking about what they want to do when they grow up. It is important to have this initial introduction into what professionals do in their jobs, whether we’re talking about mechanics, graphic designers, or chefs.”

KACC Director Jonathan Schuck added: “I want to give credit to Kathleen; she had a vision of how she could connect the preschool students to our programs at the career center. Hopefully we have given the students a chance to see something at a young age that will help them build their futures.”

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