The USF College of Education Children’s Festival was initiated by Dr. Ron Linder, Professor of Childhood Education, in 1979. The founding of the event coincided with the United Nations International Year of the Child. Dr. Linder remained the driving force behind the festival for the next 18 years with the assistance of Dr. Doug Hatch and others.
The festival was free for children ages 2 to 14 years and was held each year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of November. There were approximately sixty activities in which the children could engage in including art, music, dance, physical activities, math, science, computers, writing, literature, bicycle safety, and a petting zoo. All activities were interactive, educational, and fun (see photographs). Activities with the children are conducted by undergraduate and graduate students from each of the programs in the College of Education.
The level of participation from children living in the Tampa Bay area had grown to over 2,500 in 1996 when the event was suspended. Fortunately, the children‘s festival was successfully resumed by the College of Education in 2006 and it is expected to continue for many years to come.