Thank a Rochester Cop, a volunteer initiative, recently collaborated with Library staff to create a play corner where children are able to dress and role-play as emergency responders.
With the support of the group, the Library purchased puppets, emergency vehicles, and fabric for handmade vests. Each vest has an authentic city patch from Police, Fire, and Ambulance services.
“Many of the items are recycled or upcycled,” said Children’s Librarian Christina Paquette. “We love to show people that they can do some of the same activities we do here at the library at little to no expense. Our “dispatch” phone was an old multiline phone from my grandfather’s house”
The space is designed with fun in mind but is also serving as a space for children and families to practice what to do during an emergency. Communications Supervisor Kerri Devine provided activities for families to plan and practice emergencies.
“As most people who have visited our space know it’s not typically a ‘quiet’ space,” said Paquette. “I always, tell families we are far from the adult section of the library so need to whisper, inside voices are fine. Inside voices are now accompanied by lots and lots of pretend sirens!”
According to Sheena Downs, Thank a Rochester Cop Committee Chair, the group is proud to support the Rochester Public Library Children’s Room first responder play space.
“Thank a Rochester Cop Committee’s mission is to support our police officers and show them our appreciation,” said Downs. “We encourage all members of the community to do so as well.”