By Sara Brown
Revere residents flocked again for the annual National Night Out at Curtis Park and Whelan School Park.
National Night Out is a nationwide community event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness and drug prevention awareness, generate support for an anticrime program, and strengthen neighborhood spirit.
Revere resident Sharon Grischenko brought her two grandchildren to enjoy the festivities. The grandchildren, Kendall and Karen, lived in Revere until recently but still visit their grandmother regularly.
“It’s such a nice activity for the kids,” Grischenko said.
For Kendall, seven, the most exciting part of the evening was the bouncy house. “That was a lot of fun,” she said with a smile on her face.
She also got to reconnect with old friends. “It gives the kids a chance to hang out with each other and form connections,” Grischenko explained. However, the day was also an educational experience.
The Neighborhood Developers were also in attendance. They gave out surveys for the children to participate in. The kids had to talk to as many law enforcement officers as they could.
“Hopefully, this will build relationships and improve communication,” Community Engagement Manager Rachel Meketon said.
“Public safety is still a really big issue and things like this help,” she added.
The police presence didn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s really great to see them out here. It lets the kids get to know them and who they can trust if they are ever in danger. It develops community,” Grischenko said.
“This kind of community work is very important. If kids are taught who to talk to in times of crisis and not to be afraid to talk to law enforcement, then the more willing they are to do so if something occurs,” Meketon added.
For Victoria and Gayle Williams attending National Night Out is a yearly tradition. “I honestly don’t know many communities that do things like this. I think this is what makes Revere so special,” Gayle said.
“It’s a tradition that we go together,” Victoria said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
They both believe the evening adds a sense of community to Revere. “It brings people together. You get to know your neighbors more,” Victoria said.
“Revere is really good about that. With events like this and the sand castle competition, it makes you feel like you are a part of something special,” Gayle added.
Grischenko agreed. “We have such a nice neighborhood with great people. This reminds you of that,” she said. “You see the bigger kids helping out the younger ones. It’s nice.”
Meketon believes events like National Night Out help people feel less “isolated.” “It makes people feel connected to something, like they belong,” she said.
It also shows how diverse Revere is.
“I have neighbors of every ethnicity. Events like this show this off,” Grischenko said.
“I think that’s Revere’s greatest asset. That all these different walks of life can come together and form a community,” she added.
“It shows what a melting pot we truly are,” Gayle said.