ImagineU teaches kids who SHIELDs Tulare County

The grand opening of ImagineU’s SHIELD exhibit is familiarizing children with local first responders.

VISALIA – ImagineU’s first exhibit on emergency services agencies is meant to make encounters with first responders less frightening for kids. The exhibit explains the value and purpose of the agencies and what to expect when you call 911.

The upcoming SHIELD exhibit created by ImagineU children’s museum will have its ribbon cutting ceremony Friday May 19. Community leaders will attend for the opening of the exhibit, which was created to expose kids to different emergency service agencies and their importance to the community.

The ribbon cutting celebrates an exhibit that was years in the making.

“For ImagineU, this is the first of its kind. And the, kind of the dream started back in late 2019 or early 2020. And we started just seeing that, you know, there was just really some uneasiness around and it just felt scary even from an adult’s perspective.” said Stephanie Kinser, marketing director for imagineU.

“We want them to be comfortable with who they’re calling. So they can associate it with a good positive memory rather than something that is just perpetually always going to be scary.”

Not only is ImagineU introducing kids to the role of first responders through the interactive exhibit, but in person when they open it to the public on May 21.

“It’ll be free from eleven to two that day, families can come and we’ll have you know, by Visalia PD, Visalia fire, American Ambulance, and they’ll get to meet and greet kind of firsthand.” said Kinser

She continued to explain that they asked first responders to bring their “Toys”  so the children can see the real emergency vehicles before the play vehicles in the exhibit.

The museum is on 210 N. Tipton Street, Visalia. Local families are encouraged to attend for hands-on opportunities to imagine, explore and learn about our local emergency service agencies.

For more information please contact Katy Young at [email protected] or call (559) 205-2430.

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