Two Harker Heights fast food restaurants, located only about a mile from each other, selected Jan. 30 as the day to sponsor events that catered to the youth of the community.
At Chick-Fil-A in Market Heights, children ages 2 through third grade were gathering for fun with Legos provided by Bricks 4 Kidz of Central Texas.
Chick-Fil-A marketing assistant Lisa De La Cruz told the Herald that the store was in the midst of its monthly kids night, held on a regular basis the last Tuesday of each month from 5-8 p.m.
“Spending time with the kids is my favorite thing to do,” De La Cruz said. “Three of these kids have adopted me as their friends and I hang out together with them and their parents when they come in.”
Crystal Grant is the manager and lead teacher at Bricks 4 Kidz, an educational-based program teaching team building and engineering using Legos.
Grant said, “We cater to every age from pre-k to high school. We do simple builds like this one at Chick-Fil-A up to STEM events where we construct flying drones, robots and all kinds of amazing things. We expect about 40 kids here tonight.”
Bricks 4 Kidz is a mobile company and is self-sufficient. It brings learning opportunities into afterschool programs and has taught the Lego craft in 13 schools in Killeen ISD. They organization is not limited by location and has accepted invitations to birthday parties in addition to gatherings at homes and in parks.
“Bricks 4 Kidz brings field trips into schools so there’s no need for kids to climb on a bus and travel, we come to them,” Grant said.
“Kids enjoy building with us because everything we design takes batteries and motors. When we build an airplane, the propellers spin. If we build a car, you put it on the ground and it rolls away.
“In afterschool programs, we do STEM projects where we study tornado development and build a moving tornado out of Legos, there is an earthquake simulator we use and also a hurricane generator. Of all the things that kids learn in schools, we can build it with Legos including robotics,” Grant said.
Just a short distance down FM 2410/Knights Way at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak Burgers, students from the “Pay it Forward” club at the Killeen ISD Early College High School were holding a fundraiser for future projects from 5-10 p.m.
Some stood along Knights Way and held up signs while others worked inside the dining room.
Two of the school’s teachers and club sponsors, Rosalee Price and Idamari Garcia were on hand and described the club as student-led and motivated by the idea to give back to the community.
Club member Katherine Jimenez said, “Some of the things our club has done includes: playing bingo with the residents of Rosewood Retirement Center, sponsoring an Out of the Darkness Suicide Walk, decorating the cafeteria and the counselor’s office, sponsoring an appreciation for the lunch ladies and we also have a Valentine’s Day dance scheduled with the residents at Rosewood.”
The money donated Tuesday night will be used to fund a college field trip for the 40 members of the club.
According to Freddy’s Supervisor Cynthia Saucedo, the amount of money from sales totaled $279.39.
Saucedo said, “We give organizations 30 percent of our sales that come from customers who mention the name of the fundraiser prior to ordering.”
Concerning the fundraiser, Jimenez told the Herald, “I grew up in a family that always tried to give back to the community because we were given so much. I would like to return everything we’ve received and worked hard to gain. That way, others don’t have to work as hard to get what they need.”
Garcia said, “It’s amazing how these kids want to give back and want to be involved. They are so deeply involved and as sponsors that makes us proud!”