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AETN Family Day 2013 set for Saturday in Conway

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) will host Family Day Conway 2013 - a free public event to encourage community spirit through family-friendly fun and entertainment, educational activities and community service drives - Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the statewide network headquarters, 350 South Donaghey Avenue, Conway. Following in the footsteps of the iconic Fred Rogers, AETN extends the invitation of "Won't You be My Neighbor?" to all Arkansans for the daylong celebration.

Highlights of the day include story time with Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe at noon, a Bob Ross look-alike contest at 1 p.m., and a performance by Kindersongs at 1:30p.m. Kids will have the opportunity to meet their favorite PBS characters every hour. The Conway Police Department will be distributing child ID kits, and the Arkansas Arts Center Artmobile will be open for tours.

Community service drives to be held at Family Day include:

  • "Martha Speaks" Shelter Dog Campaign. Attendees are encouraged to donate large breed dog food or toys for Gentle Souls Pit Bull Rescue.
  • "Peg + Cat" food drive. Attendees are encouraged to donate boxed and canned goods for the Arkansas Food Bank. In demand items include: canned meats, soup, vegetables and fruit; peanut butter; cereal; pasta and sauce; 100 percent juice; canned and packaged meals; and diapers.
  • "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" Sweater Drive. Attendees are encouraged to donate new or gently worn sweaters for families in need as cooler weather approaches. Both children and adult sizes are needed, and sweaters will be distributed by the United Way of Central Arkansas.
  • Arkansas Grade-Level Reading Campaign book drive. Attendees are encouraged to donate new or gently read books for ages 0-8 years.

Donations are not required to participate in Family Day activities.

In addition to public service projects, AETN has planned several activities for the entire family:

  • Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite PBS KIDS characters. Each child in costume will receive a prize from the AETN booth.
  • PBS KIDS characters Clifford the Big Red Dog, Martha from "Martha Speaks," Daniel Tiger from "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," Arthur and the Cat in the Hat will make appearances every hour.
  • Family friendly entertainment with Kindersongs at 1:30 p.m. Brian and Terri Kinder's concerts for kids are lively and interactive. Combining his guitar and banjo playing talents and whimsical song writing skills, they amuse and entertain children of all ages.
  • "Exploring Arkansas" host Chuck Dovish will present his favorite places and answer audience questions at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Story time with celebrity readers, including Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe, Jeff Matthews, co-host of The Morning Rush on B98.5, and Heather Kendrick, host of Conway Corporation's "Living Local."
  • Adults and children may participate in a Bob Ross lookalike contest at 1 p.m. Winners will be chosen by audience applause, and first, second and third place prizes will be awarded.
  • The Arkansas Arts Center Art 2013-2014 Artmobile exhibition "The Art of Story" and pieces from the Young Arkansas Artists exhibition to help kick off the PBS Arts Fall Festival.
  • Demonstrations with the AETN production truck.
  • Demonstrations of AETN's online resources, including ArkansasIDEAS, AETN PBS LearningMedia and PBS apps for mobile devices.
  • Tours of AETN's facilities.
  • Face painting.
  • Sidewalk chalk art time.
  • Refreshments, including Petit Jean Meats hot dogs, as well as popcorn and drinks.

The event is completely free and open to the public. Additional information and the most current schedule of activities are available at aetn.org/familyday. AETN Family Day Conway 2013 is sponsored in part by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Petit Jean Meats and Chick-Fil-A.

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