More than 400 people attended this year?s ?Big Truck Night? Thursday at the Hillsboro Elementary School.
Lori Soo Hoo, director of Marion County Parents as Teachers, said the turnout represented about 119 family units, which was a higher turnout than last year.
?The cooler weather provided for a break from the heat and a comfortable evening for exploring and playing outside,? Soo Hoo said.
About 15 trucks of various sizes were on site, as well as several pieces of large equipment.
In addition to exploring the trucks, children could enjoyed driving tricycles on a designated course, climbing on huge tires, playing in a tank of plastic balls, or loading and unloading small trucks in sand piles.
?Big Truck Night? originated 11 years ago as a Parents as Teachers group event at the Hillsboro Police Station. During the past several years, it has grown into a combined effort with the Marion County Early Child?hood Task Force.
?With the relocation of the event to the Hillsboro Elementary School, we were able to host more trucks, enlarge outdoor play stations and expand the community resource fair,? Soo Hoo said.
The purpose of ?Big Truck Night? is two-fold.
?First, to provide a safe environment for young children to explore something that they love, and to connect the people and children of our Marion County communities to one another and to expose them to the valuable resources that are available to serve them,? Soo Hoo said.
Indoor resource table sponsors included Prairie View, FACT, Circles of Marion County, Wee Care, Marion County Learning Center, Marion County Early Intervention, Marion County Head Start, Marion County Health Department, Hills?boro Police Depart?ment and Marion County Parents as Teachers.
?We are grateful not only to the resource table sponsors, but also to Hillsboro Elementary for being our host site and to the many truck sponsors and helping hands that continually make this event possible,? Soo Hoo said. ?It is truly a community effort.?
She added that a generous gift of big-truck books from FACT, through an Early Childhood Block Grant, made it possible for each child, birth to 5 years old, to go home with a new bedtime storybook.