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Early driver’s training | Young students ‘try out’ trucks, hydros and limos firsthand at annual event

Students in the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Services program fill the back of a Rare Form limousine during the school’s annual Truck Day event. - Chad Coleman/Staff Photo
Students in the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Services program fill the back of a Rare Form limousine during the school’s annual Truck Day event.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Staff Photo

During the days before the annual Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Learning Services truck day, the young ones are excited. They know it is only a short matter of time before vehicles they’ve read and heard about will be at the school, available for them to check out.

On Thursday morning, 15 vehicles filled the parking lot at the JCC as 200 children, their parents and teachers climbed through a stretch limo, the county’s Search and Rescue mobile headquarters, a hydro plane and fire trucks.

“We started with one truck 17 years ago and it’s spiraled into this,” said Gloria Wolfe, one of the parent co-organizers of the event.

Steve Hunt, a cement truck driver for CalPortland in Seattle, has been coming every year since the event started.

“It’s fun,” he said. “Usually, I’m delivering concrete.”

Hunt brought one of the company’s show trucks, emblazoned with the D.A.R.E. symbol on the side. In the first years of the event, Hunt said he brought just a regular concrete truck, but has since moved to the show truck, which he would start up so children can blow the horn.

Helene Asoze, interim director of the Early Childhood Learning Services program at the JCC, said one of the best parts about the event is that children get the chance to see, in person, vehicles they’ve only seen in books.

“It’s a hands-on experience that brings so much meaning to everything they see in books,” she said. “The kids are very excited about the new trucks; it’s always an exciting day here. It’s a fun day and they remember it year after year. Many of the truckers return year after year — they enjoy it as much as the kids do.”

For 4-year-old Macy Poll, who was at Truck Day for the second time with her mom, Ricca, her favorite truck was the black stretch Ford Excursion limousine, owned by Rare Form Limousine in Bellevue.

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