IU Southeast celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an event full of Bubbles, Bugs and Bulbs. Faculty, staff and students brought their children to the event sponsored by the Children’s Center and Family Programs.
The children participated in six workstations of interactive activities.
The children were given duffle bags to color and put their crafts in. There was also a station to decorate flowers with stickers.
Face painting was a popular station, where a girl chose to get a pink snake on her arm.
The children were also able to make bracelets, key chains and necklaces.
Alicia Ritchie helped her daughter, Leiana, 3, make a necklace.
At one point, Ritchie dropped the necklace while she was trying to put it on her daughter, and the beads went everywhere.
Leiana was upset for a minute but reassured her mother.
“Mommy, I forgive you,” Leiana said.
Leiana also created pictures with stamps and markers.
“She goes to preschool and daycare,” Karen Sellmer, Leiana’s grandmother, said. “Her daycare teacher does a lot of crafts, so she is all about this. She is very serious about her art.”
There were also games set up throughout the room. The children played checkers, puzzles and tic-tac-toe. While working on their activities, an insect video played to go along with the theme.
Yvonne Bagshaw, communications junior, attended the event with her daughter, Brooklyn Belle, 3. Bagshaw also works in the Registrar, and this is her first semester assisting with the family-hour events.
Belle said she loves coming to these events with her mom, and her favorite part of the day was feeding the ducks. She said her favorite characters are Spiderman and princesses.
“I am a princess,” Belle said.
Bagshaw said these events help students who are parents network with each other.
“They bring faculty, staff and older students together with their common bond of being a parent,” Bagshaw said. “These events force parents to enjoy the campus on a personal level.”
Bagshaw also said it is difficult for students to manage their time with school and work, especially for parents.
“Between homework and their children’s homework, it leaves little time for quality time,” Bagshaw said. “Including the children in the campus shows them what their parents are working toward. It’s like combining two worlds into one.”
During the event, Belle said she wanted to attend IU Southeast one day.
Bagshaw said by having these events for families, her daughter will know the importance of going to school.
“It won’t be when or if, it will be where she is going to school,” Bagshaw said.
Wanda Borrego, coordinator for the Children’s Center, commented on the turnout of the event.
“We’re feeling good about the turnout,” Borrego said. “We were worried about the weather.”
Several of the children who attended the event also go to the Children’s Center. Borrego said the children liked the more interactive activities.
“It helps them with their creativity,” Borrego said.
Kimberly Pelle, coordinator of Non-traditional Student Programs, said she loved the face painting and the children’s reactions.
“You would think I was giving them a million dollars,” Pelle said.
On April 7, there will be another event with balloons and bubbles. The bubble man, Sonny Fenwick, will be attending, as well. The event is open to the IUS community.
By ASHLEY ELGIN