Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vehicles That Help Jobs Get Done Get Kids' Attention

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vehicles That Help Jobs Get Done Get Kids' Attention

Article excerpt


They got to pet a police horse, visit a helicopter and 18-wheeler truck and blast the siren on a police motorcycle.

They also watched a fire engine spray water into the air and climbed aboard a boat, an ambulance, a limousine and a trolley.

Mayport Elementary School students got to do all that and more Wednesday during the school's annual vehicle fair, an event that aims to teach them about a variety of careers.

"The vehicles capture the children's attention," said fair coordinator Linda Bass, a paraprofessional at the school.

The event also gives the presenters an opportunity to talk about their careers, including what they do on the job, the types of education and training they need and how the vehicles are used to help them carry out their duties, she said.

A variety of professionals from around the Beaches and Jacksonville brought vehicles to the school, and kindergartners through fifth-graders took turns visiting the fair with their teachers.

Presentations featured the Jacksonville Sheriff Office Mounted Division, a police helicopter and motorcycle officers; Florida Fish and Wildlife officers; a Century ambulance; Mayport Naval Station K-9 unit; Jacksonville Animal Control; the American Red Cross Volunteer Lifesaving Corps; Susie's Limousine; Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Station 41; Jacksonville Public Transportation; a Harbor Transport 18-wheeler and the Beaches Trolley.

Since the fair began in 2003, it's been popular with students, Bass said.

"The presenters are wonderful, and the children get so excited."

When the helicopter landed on a field next to the school, kids jumped up and down and waved.

When Jacksonville police mounted unit officers Michael Gibson and Tim Twisdale talked about their horses, students peppered them with questions then petted the animals.

"These horses are really good for special events, because we're up high," Gibson said. …

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