Posted by: Fredda Sacharow | April 28, 2012

For Children, a Fantasyland of Shows, Activities, and Fun

Master Cheng delights children with the whimsy of his intricate designs at the booth run by the Asian American Student Center.

Two-year-old Adriana Dior of Jamesburg is waaaay too busy devouring a chocolate cupcake to share her thoughts on Rutgers Day – her first. But her mom, Shakerah, says the little girl is loving the puppet shows, storybook readings and face painting activities on College Avenue.

Drawn by recommendations from her boss and highway signs advertising the day, the elder Dior says the day’s hundreds of events have something to offer kids of all ages.

And maybe, just maybe, Adriana will wind up at Rutgers some day, Shakerah suggests. “She’s already got the letter painted on her cheek …” she laughs.

Nearby, 5½ -year-old Isabella Ayres is wielding blue marker golden glitter to good effect on a stylized paper R to add to the colorful R-Garden that has drawn thousands to the center of Voorhees Mall.

She’s here with mom, Dr. Cynthia Ayres, a professor in the Rutgers College of Nursing, who has been bringing the family to Rutgers since its inception in 2009. Ayres says Isabella and her sister, Madelyn, 16 months, have been enjoying the sand art and the coloring projects the best.

A short way down the mall, Master Cheng, paper cutter extraordinaire, is captivating kids and adults alike at the booth run by the Asian American Cultural Center.

Dozens of children watch, open-mouthed, as his hands fly and his creations emerge. Faster than you can say “Rutgers Day,” white paper plates become whimsical hats – look, isn’t that one Sponge Bob?  

If you hurry over, we’re sure he’ll make one especially for you … or your child.


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