Mary Cordle
Highway Patrol officers talk to a group of students as part of the annual Community Cares Day in Caliente.

Driving towards Caliente Elementary School on Monday morning, the streets were lined with school buses. It was Community Cares Day, which was being held at the elementary school. Students from Alamo, Panaca, and Pioche joined Caliente students to hear about the different jobs and businesses in our communities, and to get measured for new shoes, courtesy of Bob Ellis.

Close to 400 kids, along with teachers and volunteers, went from classroom to classroom, listening to NHP telling them about the importance of seatbelts and not talking and texting while driving. Later, attendees were taken outside to explore the inside of a patrol car and were allowed to talk on the mic and turn the sirens on and off. People also got a chance to experience being handcuffed.

Holly Gatzke talked about tourism, places of interest in Lincoln County, and the LCAT website

Park rangers had the kids guess what animals made certain sounds in the wild and taught them about fossils found in different areas and parks.

Group by group, the kids were taken on a bus and shown the escape door and the safe way to exit the bus, staying together a safe distance from the road and the bus.

In one room District Attorney Daniel Hooge held a mock trial using a student.

There was also a presenter discussing Internet safety.

Outside, the electric company explained safety issues and the need to stay away from power poles and wires.

In the library, representatives from Payless Shoes set up to take each child’s measurements for a new pair of shoes from Bob Ellis.

Superintendent Pam Teel said that about five years ago, Kathleen Keenes’ mom worked with a lady who knew Bob Ellis in Las Vegas. At that time, he was working with Title I schools.

Keene’s mom asked the lady who knew Ellis for more information. She said she told him there was another small Title I school that could use the help.

Bob Ellis then wondered why they were not helping all the elementary schools and things just progressed from there.

The Community Cares Day happened the second year and was held in Alamo. Initially, not many in the community knew what it was about, but the feedback was great and involvement grew.