PARKERSBURG - Building a stronger community and making residents aware of services available to them was the goal of the sixth annual Neighborhood Day Celebration at the Children's Home Society on St. Marys Avenue.
Lisa Weaver, program coordinator at the society, said the program is part of Partners in Prevention/Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia.
Weaver said the area where the society is located is one where very few of the neighbors know each other. She added 80 percent of the children at McKinley Elementary School, the school serving the area, received free or reduced fee meals.
Kids enjoy a little bit of fun at sixth annual Neighborhood Day in Parkersburg.
"We have a high poverty rate here and many of the residents tend to be transient, so they do not get an opportunity to know their neighbors," she said. "This is designed to give families in the neighborhood an opportunity to come together, for neighbors to meet neighbors. This may also encourage them to stay in the community longer.
"We take this opportunity to let them know what services are available to them and also to help build a sense of community around them."
Weaver said a number of agencies set up displays for Saturday's event. She added cadets from the Parkersburg High School Navy National Defense Cadet Corps manned the children's games where the children earned tickets they could redeem for prizes. There was also a free clothing area.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Lining up for prizes were, Kaitlyn Hester, right and Carlee Boyles, center, while Shauna Kelley, right looks on.
"We also have lots of free food and free books will be given to each children through a partnership with First Book," she said. "This is just one of our family events we have to keep children in the community safe."
Weaver said funding for the program comes through the West Virginia Children's Trust Fund, the Claude Worthington Benedum foundation and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources with the Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia program.
The sixth annual Neighborhood Day Celebration at the Children's Home Society on St. Marys Avenue took place Saturday.
The goal was to help residents in the area build a stronger community by getting to know their neighbors and to inform them of resources to help them.