Kids spend day at Gloversville City Hall for Take Your Child to Work Day

The Regional Animal Shelter visited Gloversville City Hall with therapy dog Ross on the second annual Take Your Child to Work Day. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — The children of city employees learned about local government, city organizations and volunteer opportunities in the community Thursday during the second annual Take Your Child to Work Day.

The nine children ranging in age from toddler to teen started the work day at City Hall with their parents before participating in a number of crafts, activities and visits.

City Clerk Jennifer Mazur and secretary to the mayor Rachel Frasier organized the event and spent the day with the children.

Parents spent the first half hour and last hour of the day with their kids and were welcome to join them in and around City Hall throughout the day. Children of all city employees were able to participate.

Mazur said the focus this year was on showing the kids things they can do to help in the community.

The children started their day coloring planters they later filled with soil and seeds to take home.

Next the group headed over to the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to help Downtown Development Specialist Jennifer Jennings color thank you notes to be sent to the attendants of the Placemaking 101 Conference held in the city two weeks ago.

That was followed up by a tour of the Gloversville Senior Center where the kids met the seniors and played three rounds of bingo. After the game all nine children got to select something from a prize box and were treated to cookies baked by the seniors.

Then it was back to City Hall where they were joined by Mayor Dayton King and City Attorney Anthony Casale for lunch. Both King and Casale brought their own children to work Thursday and said it was a great day.

“It’s nice to see the children of coworkers who you see faces, you see stuff on Facebook, but you don’t get to interact with each other’s kids, so it’s nice. It helps build bonds between us as coworkers,” Casale said.

“It’s a morale builder. Sometimes when you’re working things become stressful, but when you know, ‘Tony’s got a family like I do,’ I think it just gives you more patience with each other,” King said.

King said it was fun to have the kids in and out of his office throughout the day, noting his children have visited City Hall after work plenty of times, but rarely during the day.

“Usually after 4 p.m., we’ve got a conference room where they could do stuff, especially when they were younger. I started when my son was six and my daughter was four, so they’ve kind of gotten accustomed to it. But it’s cool that they get to interact with other employee’s children as well,” King said.

After lunch, City Hall was visited by Regional Animal Shelter volunteer Bobbi Jo Haverly and therapy dog Ross.

Haverly and Ross taught the kids the basics of dog care, before working on a craft where they made bookmarks featuring pictures of Ross they could take home.

This was followed by a trip to the Gloversville Public Library, where children’s librarian Sally Fancher taught them how to alphabetize and categorize the books, giving each child a small stack of books to put away.

Finally, it was back to City Hall for cupcakes before each child joined their parent for the last hour of the work day to learn about what they do.

Mazur debriefed the kids to find out what they enjoyed most before sending them off with their parents, saying Ross was selected unanimously.

“They all in unison said their favorite part was the dog,” Mazur said. “They are all animal lovers and live with dogs at home. They said they loved how big he was, how cuddly he was and doing crafts of Ross.”

Haverly said her 215-pound mastiff serves as an ambassador and attention grabber due to his size when she visits schools, libraries and organizations to teach the city’s youngest citizens how to be responsible pet owners as part of the animal shelter’s education program.

Overall, Mazur said she, the children and city staffers thoroughly enjoyed Take Your Child to Work Day.

“They absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to start planning for next year,” Mazur said. “My favorite aspect was hanging out with the kids.”

Mazur added that she already has some ideas about how to fulfill the kids’ requests for next year that included a unicorn and a pinata.

By Kerry Minor

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