(Left) Park Rangers were more than happy to show the kids all the wonders - from dolphins and birds to the rare island fox - of the Channel Islands, showcased through an elaborate display at the “Kids Day at the Park” gathering. (Right) Ventura County Agriculture Museum’s exhibit was a big hit with science minded Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley members who learned about insects and were able to examine a bee’s wing under the microscope.

‘Kids Day at the Club’ draws
hundreds for educational fun

July 25, 2014
Santa Paula News

It was officially billed as “Kids Day at the Club” but adults enjoyed it too with STEM exhibits related to science, technology, engineering and math to fire every imagination.

Kids from both the Santa Paula and Fillmore Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley attended the July 11 event held at the Harding Park Clubhouse that featured an exercise warm-up leading to the barbecued hamburger lunch - Fillmore Fire Chief Rigo Landeros at the grill - and then the chance to enjoy the interactive exhibits.

“I just wanted to do a fun-filled hands-on activity for our kids,” said Club Executive Director Jan Marholin. 

And, she noted, “It’s great! All the participants are thrilled with the kids and have already said they want to come back next year!”

Bill Grant of Associates Insectary already knew what the kids would find fascinating: “The snails, that and the ladybugs,” openings for Grant to explain to the children the important role beneficial insects play in natural control of destructive pests that can threaten agriculture.

Associates Insectary has been located at its current site in Santa Paula since 1928 and, noted Grant, “You never know: it could just be a little boy or girl admiring the insects today, and they’re entomologists tomorrow... “

“Use just your eyeballs, not your fingers,” Anne Waite Thille, education director of Ventura County Agriculture Museum told a boy looking through a microscope at a bee’s wing as he started to adjust the instrument.

“Is it possible to see inside yourself with this, like blood?” the boy asked.

“I think,” said Thille, “we’ve got a budding doctor here... “

She noted that the museum had a special camp program for Club Kids that has proven to be highly popular.

Channel Islands National Park displayed a life-size model of its Island Fox  

that inhabits six of the eight islands, a species found nowhere else on Earth. 

“Look at how tiny it is!” several children said as they examined the fox and asked questions of the park rangers, learning at one point the fox had been threatened with extinction. 

Other exhibitors and participants included California Oil Museum, Santa Paula Art Museum, Time Warner Cable, Elkins Golf Course, Fit Family Fusion and the Ventura County Sheriffs Posse.

Santa Paula Firefighters Nick Bacigalupo and Matt Klein were playing basketball outside with Club Kids when not giving tours of the fire engine and equipment. Alex Flores and Santa Paula High School FFA members had a small petting zoo set up, always a favorite for young and old.

“This is great!” said Tony Soriano, a club board director and past president, as he watched the kids visit the exhibits, get involved in the activities offered and ask questions.

“I think the club is back doing what it should be doing in the community,” said Soriano. 

And through the event, whether they realize it or not, “Kids can see future careers and all the exhibitors represent local employers... “

Other supporters that helped with the event included Santa Paula Optimist Club, Beylik Family Farms, Santa Paula Firefighters Association, 

Fillmore Rotary and Ventura County Sheriffs Captain/Fillmore Police Chief Dave Wareham, also a club director

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