While most enjoy their sweet holiday, for undergraduates who major in primary education, May 5th is the busiest day of the year. This is because of the Saekdong Festival. On Children's Day every year, more than 5,000 people, including children and their families visit KNUE and have fun enjoying various activities that those students prepared. As always, this year's festival was as crowded a rock star’s concert while the motto of this year’s event was Always Spring, highlighting the idea that children have a warm heart like spring.
At 10 a.m., the performance by the university cheerleading club, PLAY decorated the start of the festival. After the conclusion of this performance and until 4 p.m., an assortment of booths was available, each being run by Primary Education students who offered participants exciting programs related to their advanced courses. For example, Primary Education major students taking an advanced course in English education prepared an English Airport while students of Fine Arts did a superb job in their face painting booth. There were also various programs that included making solar system bracelets, shooting a water rocket, dyeing fingernails with garden balsams, and learning and playing soccer.
There was also a unique system that each booth in the festival used: a stamping system. All children who participated in the festival were given pamphlets providing the locations and contents of each program. There were empty boxes on the pamphlets for children to earn stamps from each booth when they completed the tasks required at each booth. Once children collected more than 6 of the possible 15 available, they were eligible to receive a prize.
This year’s Saekdong Festival was, not only operated by Primary Education students but in combination with other organizations at KNUE as well. Booth #16, in particular, was run by the Educational Museum of KNUE. The museum provided an assortment of attention-grabbing programs that helped children get involved in their history education as they played historically edifying games rather than simply listening to a lecture or reading about facts from the past. From 2 to 4 p.m., at the theater in the Student Center, Voicien, the voiceover-acting club, performed a special musical performance of Beauty and the Beast.
Behind the scenes of the festival, which was filled with the merriment and smiles of the children, there was a lot of effort from all of the students involved, particularly by the Saekdong Preparation Committee. The committee consisted of junior students of Primary Education and the members of the Student Union. Their preparation for Saekdong started from March by having a meeting several times; they looked over programs that each team selected, made a purchasing list and promoted the whole event.
Shin Ye-won, a first-grade student from Oksan Elementary School, said: “I had a really great time participating in almost every program. I especially enjoyed making a water rocket.” Her mother also said that their family visits KNUE every Children’s Day. “I think the Saekdong Festival is the most organized and prepared among the many Children's Day events held in Cheongju.”
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