Inside Seven
Current Issue: April 2014
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Feature

A giant inflatable cone and roving street signs greet kids during Bring Your Child to Work Day, held April 29.

A Giant Cone, Walking Signs, a Teeny-Tiny City — It Must be Bring Your Child to Work Day!
by  Kelly Markham
Issue Date: 05/2009

About 300 kids and their parents enjoyed educational activities, giveaways, snacks and much more during Bring Your Child to Work Day.

Ask any group of kids what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll find you’re in the company of many aspiring ballerinas, firefighters and basketball players — maybe even a few wannabe princesses. But chances are, no child will mention becoming an associate governmental program analyst, a storm water coordinator or a transportation surveyor.

District 7’s “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” held April 29, might change that.

“This event is an opportunity for kids to discover the link between what their parents do, and how they can do it, too,” said EEO Manager Gwiin Correa. “It’s a fun event that exposes kids to what Caltrans does.”

The 300 kids who participated in the half-day event were welcomed by a changeable message sign and a giant inflatable “Slow for the Cone Zone” cone. A roving stop sign and crosswalk sign (want to guess who was inside those costumes?) provided endless photo ops and prompted more than a few curious stares from passersby on Main Street. The kids also enjoyed snacks, giveaways, and activities that provided an inside look at how Caltrans keeps California moving.

Donning mini hard hats and toting goody bags, the Caltrans kids learned about intelligent traffic systems, tried their hand at surveying, posed for video taken by the storm water robot, checked out maintenance equipment, and explored soil compaction using peanut butter, sugar and other tasty substances generally considered not up to code for real-world projects.

New to this year’s event was Safe Moves, a nonprofit organization recognized as a leading authority on traffic safety education. The organization set up a “Safe Moves City” in the plaza consisting of streets, sidewalks, intersections, crosswalks, traffic signals, traffic signs, vehicles, and a railroad track. As kids interacted with the cityscape, they learned how to navigate diverse traffic environments safely.

“The day went really well,” said James Crouse, the EEO associate who coordinated the event. “I think the kids learned a little about Caltrans and had a good time, and that’s what we try to do each year.”

Now about those signs … the fun-loving stop sign was none other than EEO Manager Gwiin Correa, and the crosswalk sign with the great dance moves was Maintenance Office Technician Gary Gordon.

 


 

A Caltrans kid tries his hand at surveying while thoroughly mapping the landscape of his lollipop. District 7 Director Doug Failing addresses a tough crowd in the plaza — 300 kids who turned out for Bring Your Child to Work Day. Don’t eat the construction materials! The District 7 design team teaches kids about soil compaction using peanut butter, sugar and other tasty substances. Save Moves, a leading authority on traffic education, teaches kids about safety at railroad crossings (and much more) in its mini city.