Glenbrook Gymnasium vibrated with excitement moments after area children were dropped off by their parents to take part in the third annual Kids Night Out.
The S.H.A.P.E. Gym was filled with sounds of laughing and yelling children, their voices echoing off the walls. Basketballs flew through the air, hula-hoops swung around and kids raced one another around on roller boards.
Castleton College students could be found all through the room as well, laughing and smiling as they played with the elated children.
But the fun wasn’t relegated to the gyms. A stop by the pool revealed even more kids, all lined up and waiting to take their turns to jump off of the diving board. A backflip competition started up, and collective groans could be heard when an aborted attempt turned into the harsh sounds of a belly flop.
In another room of the building, kids could play x-box games like Star Wars or jam out to Rock Band.
“We originally started the event to give parents incentive to drop their kids off for five hours to do some Christmas shopping and not have to worry about their kids,” said Justin Derosier.
The ‘we’ he spoke of pertains to volunteer members of Castleton’s psychology program, Applied Behavioral Analysis, a course facilitated by professor Terry Bergen.
“The kids liked it so much that we decided to do it every semester,” Deroiser said. We just want to provide an opportunity for the kids to hang out with their friends from school, as well as make a few new ones. We have kids that come out from Fairhaven, Poultney, and Castleton. It’s also a really great way to try and give back to the community.”
After a few fun filled hours running around the gymnasium, the kids went to dinner and then off to Herrick Auditorium to watch a movie.