The kids of Dillard Elementary in Fort Lauderdale had a special day of learning and adventure on May 25th when Ranger Good Works, a charitable organization run by Victoria Ranger, invited local businesses to set up a mini-city of booths so the 400 kids could see the possibilities of careers when they grew up.
I was there representing WPB Magazine and talked to the kids about how writing about things you like – music, art, sports – can be a fun job. Other booths were from the Police department who brought a SWAT team, a policeman on horseback and a friendly bloodhound who was trained to sniff out missing children. FPL was there, along with fashion designers, Hoffman chocolates, local dance schools and even a cake decorating company. An airboat and large construction equipment was parked outside. There was live music and food and even a mesmerizing art installation in the Science Lab from local award-winning artist Sri Prabha, who asked the kids to sit in the environment of projections he had created and then tell him what they saw in it and how it made them feel.
Behind all the fun is the sobering fact that 98% of these kids are from single parent homes, must walk to school, and have never traveled more than 5 miles from their homes. They’ve never been to a real restaurant, a bank, a flower shop, or a sports game.
Friendly, well behaved, wide eyed and open to learning, it was a really fun experience to watch them interact with the vendors see them thinking about all the things they could maybe do. Already expanding regionally, the program has been such a success they are looking to take it national with the help of major sponsors.