Desks were rearranged into a maze throughout Angela Homan’s fourth-grade classroom, where students “rescued” hidden Angry Birds stuffed animals.
It wasn’t a usual scene Thursday night at Miles Township Elementary — the classroom was staged for the school’s inaugural Community Safety Night.
Homan’s classroom was the site of a mock search and rescue mission that allowed students to crawl through the desk maze and find the Angry Birds.
Once all the Angry Birds were identified, Millheim Fire Company Fire Prevention Officer Michael Heckman gave each student the title of honorary junior firefighter.
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“When you’re given this age group, you have to do things they will understand,” Heckman said. “We came up with something that was really interactive and a good aspect of what we do.”
Heckman was among officials visiting from the Miles Township Fire Company, Penns Valley EMS, State Police at Rockview and State College Cycling Club to help with activities and demonstrations for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The event also aligned with some school curriculum that helps students learn and understand fire drills and safety.
Principal Kurt Nyquist said a schoolwide fire drill was also held during the school day Thursday.
“Something like this really goes nicely with some of those safety things we teach in school,” he said. “The teachers do a good job with that.”
During the event, students were encouraged to stop at teacher-run safety stations.
When they completed an activity, students were given tickets that allowed them to check out other activities and demonstrations held by officials, kindergarten teacher Beth Houser said.
State police Sgt. Lucas Rankin let students take their fingerprints; Heckman helped show students that being a firefighter is more than just putting out flames; and fire apparatuses were on display by the Miles Township Fire Company.
“What we do is all for the kids to have fun and learn a little at the same time,” Heckman said.