SAAC sponsors “Kids Night Out” for community children

A campus organization is providing more than just service to community parents this holiday; it’s letting them off the hook for one night with Kids Night Out Dec. 9, which is sponsored by the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) of Northern Kentucky University.

Kids Night Out gives NKU student athletes the chance to play sports and games with community children, said Steve Kruse, head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country/track teams.

“Anytime a kid can run around, scream and chase each other indoors without getting yelled at, it’s a great time,” Kruse said.

Kids Night Out is open to the community, and is for children in grades one through five. The athletic department spread the word to the tri-state by sending student athletes to elementary schools in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties where they passed out fliers about the event. The activities available will be basketball, volleyball, soccer, track (relay races), kickball, gymnastics, swimming and arts and crafts. There will be more than 200 children participating and more than 100 student athletes and staff members to provide individual attention.

Junior sports business major Alicia Lawrence feels events like Kids Night Out is important for the SAAC. “The SAAC doesn’t just provide a common ground for student athletes who were given the opportunity to play sports in college,” she said. “It also allows them to be a positive influence in the community by having events like ‘Kids Night Out.'”

“People sometimes have the misconception that we are here just to play a sport. While some student athletes go to college for that reason only, there are many more of us who are here for an education and to be a light in the community too,” Lawrence said.

The athletic department understands the relationship between the sport teams and the community and that it’s important to give back to the community. “We give back to the community because the community supports NKU and athletics by attending our games and being fans,” Kruse said. “We are, in turn, fans of the community.”

Kids Night Out will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Dec. 9 in Regents Hall. The cost is $10, which includes a T-shirt and a snack. Space is limited. Applications are available in the Albright Health Center room 250 or call (859) 572-5193 for more information.