ANAHEIM : Children Learn How City Is Groomed

As the big, yellow arm of the tree-trimming truck maneuvered into the air, a group of kindergartners wobbled in their shoes as they craned their necks to watch.

"How many of you would like to drive a truck like that someday?" teacher Merideth Buonocore asked, and a few dozen tiny hands shot up.

Standing next to tires twice their height, the children laughed and giggled as they imagined themselves commandeering such a truck.

The little crowd was one of five groups of children from Melbourne A. Gauer Elementary School who roamed through city equipment at Brookhurst Park on Wednesday as part of Anaheim Public Works Day.

Amid a few dozen garbage trucks, dump trucks, television traffic monitors and graffiti-removal kits, each group spent about an hour learning the different jobs the city's department performs. Favorites included the Bobcat--a pint-size bulldozer--and the loud and powerful street sweeper.

The students listened attentively to the public works employees who explained the variety of jobs the different machines could do.

"I liked the Bobcat. It burnt rubber on the street," third-grader Ian Case wrote in an essay about the trip.

"It's pretty neat the way they let them come in and see this," said kindergarten assistant Finni Luna. "When it's working, you can't go up and just ask questions."

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