Cars and trucks (and things that go) captivated nearly 300 Pre-K students from all six Jackson County elementary schools Nov. 1 when "Community Cares 4 Pre-K" took place at the site of the former West Jackson Primary School.

The children visited with representatives of public health and safety agencies, community organizations, and dozens of local businesses and farms.

Parents and grandparents joined teachers and paraprofessionals to lead the children through the various stations, helping representatives lift the children into tractors, trucks and emergency vehicles. They learned that food comes from farms, that matches and lighters should be handled by adults, that trash pollutes our waterways and more.

Jackson EMC was on hand with a safety lesson and a bucket truck, Kona Ice had a treat for every child as the morning warmed up under blue skies, and Lawson Funeral Home had a coffin-shaped grill to toast marshmallows to make s’mores, a perfect post-Halloween treat.

Chick-fil-A of Braselton sent its cow mascot — actually, “a cow in a costume,” according to one very solemn four-year-old, pointing out the difference between the two-legged visitor and the four-legged real cows nearby — and the students got up close and personal with a helicopter from the Georgia State Patrol before watching it take off at the end of the morning's events.

Organized by Linda Bell and Judi Williamson, who lead the Jackson County School System Pre-K program at the district level, the program was one of several across the state highlighted by the Georgia Department of Education's Family-School Partnership.

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