Government Services Day on Charlottesville Downtown Mall - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Government Services Day on Charlottesville Downtown Mall

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Charlottesville's downtown mall was full of future firefighters, police officers and librarians Thursday.  Government Services Day was an effort to teach little ones what city workers actually do.

There were dozens of booths set up along the downtown mall to give kids the chance to learn the daily ins and outs about working for the city.  They also learned ways to stay safe in the case of a fire emergency.

"We put non-toxic smoke in, let the children go inside, they hear the smoke detector go off and it teaches them what to do in case of a fire," said Richard Jones with the Charlottesville Fire Department.

Emergencies aren't child's play, this was both fun and memorable.  The smoke house is decorated inside out like a real home, with pictures, a bath tub and a kitchen.  The real-life theme gave young students a true sense of what it would be like to be in a house fire.

First grade student Hannah Elder said, "It was kind of real, well it was real how the fire alarm sound real."

"When you hear fire detector, you get on your knees and crawl out of the house," said second grade student Angus Munroe. 

The simulation also aims to teach children that firefighters are their friends and are there to help them.  But that wasn't all for kids to see and experience.  Different city agencies were on hand with handouts, and each booth switched up how to teach the kids to keep things interesting.

"Some have handouts some have demonstrations, some have handouts and demonstrations.  Others have puzzles or take home information, so there's a lot for kids to learn at all different levels," Charlottesville Director of Communications Miriam Dickler said.    

All the lessons were aimed at giving these young students an inside look at how their Charlottesville operates.

Although Thursday's event was packed with activities for kids, it doesn't mean adults didn't get a chance to learn a few things.  They had career opportunity information for those interested in city jobs.

Reported by Molly Balkenbush

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