Learning can occur in a variety of ways, but a unique one in Columbus has served young children well for about 20 years. Touch A Truck provides preschool and kindergarten students a hands-on experience with vehicles and equipment they see in everyday life.
The most recent event, on Sept. 30, attracted about 1,000 children to Clifty Park, where they interacted with nearly 40 vehicles provided by 25 organizations and businesses. Fire trucks and police cars are commons displays at Touch A Truck, as are buses, bulldozers, ambulances, municipal bucket trucks, wreckers and military vehicles.
Touch A Truck has grown significantly since it was launched by Family School Partners as a way to encourage parents to be involved in their child’s education and the community. That’s a good sign, because educators see value in the event.
Children learn about the vehicles and what they are used for by climbing in and on them and by hearing explanations from their operators. Because Touch A Truck connects children with police and firefighters, for example, this event can begin to build trust with emergency responders at an early age, a wonderful benefit.
Some classes have even expanded on Touch A Truck with in-school lessons about transportation and community helpers, providing the children with a better understanding of the city in which they live.
Touch A Truck is a worthwhile early education experience for children that hopefully will receive continued support and participation.