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Frank White hosts its last ECFE safety camp

Early Childhood Family Education and other student-facing programs are scheduled to move out of the Frank White Education Center later this month.

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Evy, Megan and Charlie Breitweser and Martha Juntunen practice dialing 911 at an Early Childhood Family Education safety camp station May 10, 2022 at the Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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The Early Childhood Family Education program in the Park Rapids Area Schools held a safety camp May 10 for families with small children.

It was the last safety camp that will take place at the Frank White Education Center, as all student programming is scheduled to move out of the building later this month, as a step toward demolishing the building to make way for a new high school wing.

“We usually host it the first three days of June, or the end of May, when class is out,” said Ronda DeWulf, the school’s ECFE and School Readiness teacher. “But because we will have moved by then, we decided to change the model and have it more like an open house, instead of having 40 kids come to camp and breaking them into little groups of 10 and spending three half-days with us. So, this was our option, and I think it is our best option, because we have a lot of our service volunteers coming.”

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Firefighter Crystal Krautkremer explains the equipment on a fire truck to parents at kids during the Early Childhood Family Education safety camp May 10, 2022 at the Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

In the bus drop-off circle behind the building, law enforcement, fire and ambulance personnel gave families with young children a look at their equipment and even a chance to climb inside their vehicles.

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Diona Walker and children Byntlee and Oakley check out the controls in Police Officer Joe Rittgers's squad vehicle during the Early Childhood Family Education safety camp May 10, 2022 at the Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Meanwhile, inside the Frank White gym, there were interactive stations where children could practice dialing 911, crawling under smoke, stop-drop-and-roll, navigating stop lights. It also featured a mock block of streets to pedal around on tricycles, a video presentation and a puppet theater with police, firefighter, nurse and doctor puppets.

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DeWulf explained the school has five ECFE classes, a mixed-ages parent-child program open to children from birth to age 5, and two classes of School Readiness, which is a 3-year-olds’ preschool program, in addition to Voluntary Pre-K for 4-year-olds.

However, she said, the safety camp was open to all early childhood families (with kids age 5 and younger) whether they are enrolled in ECFE or not.

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Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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