Free kids event in Algonquin explains community services

The Children's Safety Expo, held Saturday at Heineman Middle School in Algonquin, was a one-stop information source for parents and their children on detailed resources available in the community.

The three-hour event, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Tryon, a Crystal Lake Republican, and state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, a St. Charles Republican, served up a hodgepodge of attractions meant to appeal to children and their parents.

It offered a reptile show, a Touch-a-Truck display, and nearly 50 booths with information and people from first responders, state, county and local agencies, community and health groups, and private companies.

The Algonquin Academy of Dance and Kaya Martial Arts held live demonstrations. The touch-a-truck display featured utility trucks, squad cars, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks and a motor home.

Attendees could also learn about topics including Internet safety, cyberbullying, day care, tutoring, adoption, autism, bike safety and fire safety. Roughly 200 people attended.

Carrie Harter of Lake in the Hills attended with her kids, Riley, 6, and Christian, 4, who got a kick out of the first responders' vehicles. Riley liked the squad car the best.

"I always take them to events for awareness and safety," Harter said of her children. "It can't hurt to learn something new."

  Sandy Mitchard of the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office hands kid-geared comic books, workbooks and coloring books about Internet safety, drugs and alcohol prevention, bullying and more to Rhonda Discher and her children of Lake in the Hills at the Children's Safety Expo at Heineman Middle School in Algonquin. Laura Stoecker/
  Abigail Rybicki, 7, of Algonquin takes a ride on Boulder, an African sulcata tortoise, as he makes a beeline for fresh lettuce during a reptile show at the Children's Safety Expo. Boulder is 30 years old. Laura Stoecker/
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