CCDF Continues Children's Parade and Celebration Tradition

Beginning of Parade


Young children in matching blue shirts lined up along Anadarko's Broadway Street. Many of them waved small American flags and walked as part of the Child Care Development Fund's 12th annual Week of the Young Child Parade and Children's Celebration.


Taking place on the morning of April 26, 2018, the waves of area children, teachers and a few parents marched the length of Broadway from the former Indian City Lanes to Oklahoma Street Gym.


"The main intent of the celebration is a fun day for children to learn by play and as an appreciation for teachers and caregivers who spend many hours a day with these children," said CCDF director Kathy Hopen.


The young children in attendance, ranging from ages 2-6, include Anadarko, Boone-Apache and Gracemont Public Schools; Anadarko area daycare centers; Comanche Nation child care programs; and Caddo Nation child care programs. Hopen said that the combined number of children and volunteers was 723 people total.


Coming in from the parade, the Southern Drum sounds of "The Side" greeted the children when they arrived at the Oklahoma Street Gym. "The Side" is the Riverside Indian School student drum led by Indian Club advisors Billy Pewo and Jason Lightfoot.


The Side


The featured speaker of the morning was "Mad Science," who demonstrated child-oriented science experiments. Following the science presentation, multiple activities for the children were then available. This includes a bounce house, the CCDF program's Star Lab portable planetarium, train rides, a Ferris wheel, petting zoo and pony rides.


Children also had the chance to play violins, trombones and multiple percussion instruments courtesy of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League's "Instrument Playground" program. In addition, McGruff the Crime Dog, Eddie the Eagle and Daren the D.A.R.E. Lion also paid the children a visit.


In between activities, children had a chance to get free goodie bags and educational information from the following Wichita tribal programs: Food Distribution, Health Services (CHR/EMS and Chemical Dependency/Mental Health), RISE, ICW and VOCA.


Bounce House 



Tribal programs and organizations from the surrounding area also set up booths, including WCD-WIC, Delaware Nation ICW, Washita Valley Community Action Council, Kiowa Tribe Social Services, Kiowa Child Care Programs and BIA Police.


Goals for next year include small group science-oriented hands-on activities, as well as encouraging more parents in the crowd to cheer on the children.


"It's great to see early childhood programs, public schools, parents and community supporting their children," said Hopen. "When children events involve parents, teachers and the community, they're able to respond more easily to the needs of their children. Together we are better."


Girl with Violin