POINT PLEASANT — With the temperatures slowly getting warmer as spring approaches, some Mason County students may have altered their summer plans after attending the Annual Outdoor Youth Expo.
Instead of sitting inside in front of the television when the sun comes out, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students learned about outdoor activities and events they could do, as well as information on how they can remain drug and tobacco free during the expo at the at the National Guard Armory.
Beginning with students from Ashton Elementary and Point Pleasant Intermediate Schools on Wednesday, March 20, the expo featured a room full of displays and information from various community groups and local businesses encouraging these activities and drug free information, as well as entertainment from ventriloquist Mark Wade and a presentation from Jim Fregonaro from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Students from New Haven, Leon, Roosevelt, and Beale Elementary Schools will attend the expo today, Thursday, March 21.
“It’s a great opportunity for the children to experience what they can do outdoors and keep them tobacco and drug free,” said Mason County Board of Education Vice President Randy Searls, who also served as the expo’s emcee.
Searls also mentioned a highlight was giving away the door prizes, saying it is great to see the looks on the children’s faces when they win a prize. Door prizes for the students also included hula hoops, jump ropes, Frisbees, chairs and tents, pedometers, bats and balls, t-shirts, water bottles, and bikes.
Sponsored by Pleasant Valley Hospital, the expo has been a yearly event since 2000. Exhibits and attractions at this year’s expo included displays from the American Cancer Society, Arrowhead Hunting, a bee keeper, Black Diamond Girl Scouts, CenterShot (Trinity United Methodist Church), DARE program, FFA Chapter, fly tying, Kanawha Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Mason County 4-H WVU Extension Service, CEOS, Family Resource Network, Solid Waste Authority, and Tourism Center, Neuro Science Centers/St Mary’s Medical Center, Ohio Valley Bank, Pleasant Valley Hospital.
Point Pleasant River Museum, RAZE and Hannan Jr/Sr High School SADD, River Works Discovery, SA Kang Tae Kwon Do, Skeeter Boats Fishing Team, Tri State Are Council Boy Scouts of America, UniCare, West Virginia Farm Museum, WV American Lung Association, WV Department of Agriculture Bee Inspector, WE State Parks- Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, WV Tobacco Quitline, and WVDNR Operations Center, Wildlife Diversity Program.
In addition to the students, parents are also welcome to attend the expo.