As we are in football season, students and fans get ready for the tailgates, the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, and for the G-men to take home more wins. The games are not just for alumni and students though. Prez Rick’s Kids Zone is a fun destination for children between the ages 4-10 during the home games at the Eddie Robinson Stadium, free of charge.
President Richard Gallot wanted to create a fun, yet safe place for children during the games to be able to give young children their own entertainment. He took his idea to GSU’s Athletic Director Paul Bryant, and Dr. Glenda Island, Department Head of Family and Consumer Sciences to start the development of the project.
“This collaboration between these two departments has evolved into a very successful partnership that provides an opportunity to accomplish the university goals of teaching, research and service,” said Island. “It also adds value for GSU students, faculty, staff, and the community.”
The Kids Zone is open two hours prior to kickoff and closes after kickoff. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 years or older to participate in Kids Zone activities.
There is a Tiger Den area that provides rest, relaxation, refreshments, and information for the parents while their children enjoy the activities.
The Kids Zone consists of inflatable bouncers, face painting, interactive games, photo sessions, music and more. Children who participate in the fun receive special tiger gear and Tiger Chow before they leave.
“We refer to Prez’s Kids Zone as Tiger Club Tailgating. It was very popular during the 2017 football season and attendance continued to increase at each game,” Island said.
Some of the parents have commented on the effectiveness of the Kids Zone saying it is a fun place for kids, organized, entertaining, and a safe environment. With the anticipation of 2018 season being even more successful, the plans of the Kids Zone are to expand out to other sporting events such as basketball, soccer, softball, and baseball.
Students and faculty are encouraged to help set up the Zone and implement activities. It will provide students the opportunity to interact with the kids and their parents for their prospective area of study and earn service learning credit hours. High school students are welcomed as well to help run the Kids Zone for a GSU experience, and also entice them to apply to the school.
The Kids Zone welcomes opposing schools to help out as well.
“The zone provides opportunity to continue to enhance and foster positive community relations. We also hope that every child that visits the zone will aspire to become a GSU Tiger,” Island said.