On March 27th, 2013 the Alabama A&M University Community Campus Partnership (AAMUCCP) and the residents of Edmonton Heights celebrated together in unity at James Crawford Park for the celebration of the international holiday Easter. The AAMU Community Campus Partnership Coordinator, Mr. Ron Humphrey, spearheaded the event in collaboration with the Edmonton Heights Neighborhood Association (EHNA). Residents were invited throughout the community a week in advance through flyers, face-to-face contact with residents from fellow colleagues and social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter). It was a GREAT turnout from the community! New faces even came to the event. Everyone waited to hear further instructions from Mr. Humphrey and one of the student volunteers, Renata Befecadu. There were three fun activities planned for all of the children to play. The three games were Chubby Bunny, Egg Relay and The Golden Egg Hunt. The first game that all the children played together was Chubby Bunny. This game is played with a fun attitude, marshmallows and multiple players. Each player has to stuff a marshmallow in their mouths and say Chubby Bunny. The person with the most marshmallows in their mouth while saying Chubby Bunny clearly is the winner. On the other hand, if you can't say the phrase, "Chubby Bunny" that everyone can hear clearly then you're out. Also, you can't chew or eat the marshmallow. Quite a daunting game right? Well, one kid one with a total of six (6) marshmallows stuffed in his mouth. To see his cheeks puffed out was very funny. The kids had a great time playing the game. Next, we played the Egg Relay Race. Two teams (Team 1 and Team 2) were divided among all of the children. Spoons were given to each competitor to hold an egg. The purpose of the game is to not drop the egg while going towards the designated stopping point and returning back to base and passing the egg to the next partner on your team. Ms. Renata Befecadu assisted in being the designated stopping point. It was a sight to see! Team 2 were dropping their eggs all over the place. Then, Team 1 couldn't hold their egg. It was a back-and-forth competitive drive between both teams to stay in front of the other. In the end, Team 1 won the competition. Our last game was the Golden Egg Hunt! The intensity and energy that each family I was fantastic! Everyone ran in different directions looking for the golden egg. Some ran across Salem Dr. into the woods picking up numerous colored eggs that were scattered on the ground, in bushes and around the base of the trees while the others searched throughout rest of the park finding many as well. Pockets and bags were being filled by the minute. Parents were even more competitive about the game than the kids which made it even more hilarious. An hour had gone by and nobody has found the egg. Parents and children were becoming very relentless in finding the golden egg. Staff workers saw the families searching through trash cans, gravel in the playground, underneath cars and all other places except this one area that nobody couldn't figure out.. Mr. Humphrey had a great idea of placing the egg underneath the edge of the garbage around the rim of the one of the receptacles underneath the pavilion. Different hands were digging in the receptacle time and time again even touching the egg without realizing it. It was comical! Finally, a family found the egg in the nick of time before anyone else noticed it. Everybody was in tears of laughter and joy of seeing the event become a success. The family won a custom-made Easter basket created by one of our student volunteers. The event was capped off with lunch inside the Edmonton Heights Family Life Center (EHFLC). It was indeed a joyous occasion that brought a sense of camaraderie to the neighborhood. In addition, to see the smiles on the children's faces were priceless We do intend to host it again in 2014!
To view pictures of the Edmonton Heights Easter Eggstravaganza go to facebook.com/aamuccp.
Thank you to the following departments, organizations and individuals:
- Prof. Joseph Lee
- AAMU Department of Community Planning & Urban Studies
- AAMU Community Development Corporation
- AAMU Urban Planning Association
- Edmonton Heights Neighborhood Association
- Ms. Patricia Henderson (Department of Family & Consumer Sciences)
- Edmonton Heights Family Life Center
- Student interns and VISTA Volunteers