Orrington Elementary School Students “Play” with a Purpose

RECESS-INTRO_0926T160541_thumb2Recess: it’s many students’ favorite subject!

On Thursdays, the Center Drive School in Orrington has some special guest on their playground.

Public Safety Officials from the town come to play with a purpose each week.

“We can use it as a teaching moment as well,” said Shellie Tourtillotte, the Public Educator for Orrington Fire and Rescue.

The Public Educator is a familiar face at the school. “I love to have the kids know who I am and feel comfortable so if they do have questions they can just run up to me and ask me a question or just hang out with me,” said Tourtillotte.

It lets the students get to know firefighters and police officers on a whole new level, but it wouldn’t be recess without play time.

On this particular Thursday, the kids played duck duck goose, tag, and one deputy even got tackled – which one second grade student said was “awesome.”

Penobscot County Sgt. Jon Carson, said “It lets us break the ice and get a little closer to the kids.”

The main reason for the weekly visit is to make sure the kids know they are safe in the hands of local law enforcement. It’s also a bright spot for the “big kids” too.

Carson said “It actually helps the day go a little quicker and it’s something to look forward to each week.”

“I think that gives them a sense of comfort, knowing that were just like them. We’re here to play with them and were here to protect them as well,” said Tourtillotte.

Both departments plan on coming to recess every Thursday for the rest of the school year.

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