By Ilse Diaz and Carmin Vera
When you walk into a school, you expect your child to be learning and doing work, but schools do much more than that. You walk into different schools and the students are doing lots of interesting activities that let them interact with the community around them.
Nancy Alvarez, who works in the Family Center at Fair Oaks Elementary School, said, “We have this day where we beautify the school, and an organization came, and they worked with the families and they help to clean the school with the help of volunteers, families, the kids. That’s how we bring together community.”
Ms. Alvarez added that there are many other events and programs that happen on campus; for example, a fall festival, coffee with the principal, Learning Together (a program in which the younger kids get read to aloud), after school programs, food distribution and fundraisers (in which they mostly sell food).
Other local schools do the similar things.
Claudia Reyes, business director at Connect Community Charter School, said her school hosts events “because it shows to them that they have power in their community and they can make a difference in their community no matter their ages.”
Mrs. Reyes gave examples of some events students participate in, such as World Savvy, Math Festival and weekend workshops. She said this year science and art teachers are working together to allow art to be part of the Science Fair.
Nancy Naranjo, office assistant at Summit Preparatory High School, said her school involves the community through “monthly spot meetings in which parents can discuss what’s going on in school and what the school can change.”
Ms. Naranjo added that last year there was a car wash in which the teachers and students came together, as well as Multicultural Day, which is sort of like a potluck where parents volunteer to bring food. This year, they beautified the school on Sunday, Nov. 5, when families, teachers and students came together to clean the school. They also have their annual camping trip during the first month of school in which the students interact with each other and their mentors.