For the first time in the history of the annual Daffodil Parade, the city of Sumner is reaching out to youth in the communities of Sumner and Bonney Lake to empower their creativity in creating a Daffodil float design.
The Daffodil Float Design Contest, open to all elementary-age and high school-age students in the Sumner School District, represents an innovative partnership between the district and the city and is hoped to be the start of a series of internships offered to high school students in career and technical education at the city government level and in the business community.
“This is the start of something bigger, the start of thinking how to help our community be more involved with each other,” said Heather Weeks, a career specialist with the district and a member of the district’s Career and Technical Education Leadership Team.
Since August, Weeks has performed outreach to business leaders in Sumner and Bonney Lake, establishing internship programs that will soon be open to students by the end of January.
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“We have about four internships that are ready to be tested,” Weeks explained. “By the end of January, we hope to have three or four students placed in different internships.”
Internships so far comprise a landscape company, one with the city of Sumner, one with a local dental company, and a job shadow at Dillanos Coffee Roasters, where it’s hoped a student will be able to learn the intricacies of the company’s distribution and logistics.
“The goal is to create regular internships that we could replace every year with new students, so we gain more exposure to the same businesses that we can use over and over again,” Weeks said.
Weeks said that, in a sense, the float design contest is a short-term internship where the student who wins the contest will have the opportunity to spend a day at Sumner City Hall explaining to the float design committee how they envision the float to look and operate
“The student winner will bring in other students to help build the float and construct the mechanical parts (of the float),” Weeks said.
The physical assembly of the float will start in late February, early March. The parade is April 8 and will run through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup and Sumner.
“It’s very exciting to see what can come of a partnership between the biggest organizations in the Sumner and Bonney Lake area,” Weeks said. “It’s a long time in the making.”