With the help of Thompson employees, pre-school students in Jackson, Tennessee recently had a “hands-on” opportunity to learn about construction and construction equipment. The special event was part of a larger community outreach effort by Thompson Machinery and its Jackson branch store.
“We have entered into an assistance program with the Hands Up! Preschool in Jackson,” explains store manager George McClary. “We are sponsoring the school, because we feel it’s important to give back to the community.” One day each month, Thompson employees are going to the school and reading to the children. The October visit was made even more special by each child receiving a “goody bag” of Cat merchandise and other items, and by Thompson bringing actual pieces of equipment to display.
“The kids loved what we did,” McClary says. “The school designated this week as Cat Construction week and are very excited about this. In addition to having machinery there that the kids could climb into and learn about, the week included other aspects of construction like architecture and different career options for construction workers. For example, on one of the days of that week, a local architect visited Hands Up! and brought along some blueprints to show the students.”
Thompson Machinery employees explained how the compact track loader and the service truck parked outside the school operated, and helped the kids one by one into the cabs and let them honk the horns. Donna Agnew, the founder and director of the preschool, said the event was both fun for her students and helped them learn about the world outside the classroom.
In addition to George McClary, Jackson store employees who participated in the event included Allen Wilson; Stan Doyle; Josh Hatchett; John McCarty; Aaron Ingalls; and Steven Grantham. Duncan Fort and Denise Barrett travelled down from LaVergne to be part of the event as well. Jackson’s Hilton Cohea has accompanied George on subsequent visits to read to the students.
George adds, “We hope this will encourage our other stores to look for areas in their towns where they can provide some support, too.”