Children in Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s After School Child Development program had the chance to interact with first responders in a positive way when the CPN After School Program hosted Local Hero Day.

The event, a coordinated effort between Child Development and CPN’s Workforce and Social Services program Safe and Stable Families, took place in April.

Shawnee, Oklahoma, firefighters help make Local Hero Day fun for children at CPN’s After School Program.

Children had the chance to talk to first responders from CPN and the Shawnee Police Department about their careers. SPD brought their K-9 special agent, as well, and the Shawnee Fire Department arrived with one of the city’s firetrucks.

Jerri Mayer, with the After School Program, said it was important for children to feel comfortable talking to first responders and to know that they are safe.

“We aim to support each child in excelling from infancy to their chosen career path,” Director of Child Development Donnette Littlehead said, adding that they wanted children to know they were protected, but also to help them grow into healthy adults in the future.

“You never know who may be inspired by these interactions and become our next local hero,” Director of Workforce and Social Services Margaret Zientek said.