TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Students at Highland Park Central Elementary School can now stay nice and warm this winter break after the Kansas Department of Transportation presented the students with a winter donation. The students also received a visit from a famous Kansas City mascot.
Representatives from the Kansas Department of Transportation Thursday donated a pair of gloves and a winter hat for each 5th grade student, as well as a gift from KDOT and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). In fact, some of the teachers even received a gift certificate from the organizations.
COMTO is an organization that promotes diversity and inclusion in the transport industry nationally and locally, and KDOT is an official member.
The week before, COMTO celebrated a week of giving back, according to KDOT civil rights officer Doria Watson. Like last year, COMTO chose one school to celebrate and donate winter clothing – this year COMTO chose Highland Park Central.
Watson also said the two departments wanted to give back to the community, but KDOT and COMTO also wanted to encourage children to consider a career in transportation.
“One of the things we want to do is make sure these kids start thinking about non-traditional careers in transportation, engineering, STEM jobs, and often kids don’t think about doing something they’re not exposed to.” are. So if they’re not exposed to those things, they’re not going to think about it, so we want to make sure we get it in some of the low-income areas, in some of the non-traditional schools, and in some of these kids that might never have been about it thought about what to do. We do different things throughout the year — we do fundraisers, we do STEM camps, we do all sorts of things to help these kids understand that transportation has a range of amazing, tremendous careers for them out there. There are no limits to what they can do and what they can be.”
After the children received their hats and gloves, the KC wolf would visit the school to talk to them and to cheer them up for the next year after recess.
Highland Park Central Director Janna Abernathy said the opportunity to meet the KC wolf is an experience the children deserve.
“These students, like all other students, deserve to have opportunities and experiences – and not everyone gets the experience of KC Wolf coming and meeting them and greeting them and shaking their hands, so it’s good that these kids are a little bit outside of that.” see buildings,” Abernathy said. “He puts on a really good show for our students, getting them ready for the new year and keeping them strong.”
Highland Park Central Elementary will also have a holiday sing-along gathering on Friday afternoons before the students go on breaks.
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