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McKinley Community Fair And Open House Brings Community Together

More than 500 people attended the 2016 William McKinley Community Fair and Open House on the evening of Thursday, April 28.

“This was a wonderful event that brings our school community and our Burbank community together,” commented Principal Liz Costella. “Families had the opportunity to visit the community groups to see what resources are available. Community members that attended had the opportunity to see our McKinley programs and visit the classrooms as well.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The new McKinley Elementary mascot, Mr. McPanther, made his debut and posed for photos with families and visited classrooms.

The David Starr Jordan Middle School Jazz Band played two sets of live music. McKinley’s Hip Hop Club performed, in addition to an act from the school’s Variety Show.

Children in grade TK-1 gave a vocal music performance under the direction of Education Through Music – LA (ETM-LA) teacher Erik Matthew Garcia. ETM-LA provides music instruction for grades TK-1 at McKinley, while the district provides weekly music classes for grades 2-5.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Free food, including a very popular taco stand, was provided by Cusumano Realty group. Walt Disney Studios gave prizes out to the children.

Booths at the McKinley Community Fair included school-associated groups such as the PTA, Boosters, Dual Immersion, GATE, Hablemos (English Learner advisory Council) and an art table including information about the McKinley Art Project, Reflections and Variety Show.

The McKinley Garden Club had a farmers market set up and sold fresh vegetables and herbs grown by the children.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Many community groups also participated, including Kids Dental Clinic, Burbank Parks and Rec, BTAC, Burbank Public Library, Gordon Howard Museum, Burbank Senior Apartments, Rise Leadership Program, Read Conmigo, Burbank Police Department, Burbank Chamber of Commerce, Bob Hope Airport and the Burbank Educational Foundation.

The Burbank YMCA set up an obstacle course and the Boys and Girls Club had face painting at their booth.

Many City and school officials attended the McKinley Community Fair including City Treasurer Debbie Kukta, Director of Community Development for the City of Burbank Patrick Prescott, Board of Education President Charlene Tabet and Board member Roberta Reynolds. BUSD Assistant Superintendents Dr. Tom Kissinger and Sharon Cuseo attended along with Director of Human Resources, Anita Schackmann.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The McKinley Community Fair was a free event for families. It was organized by Costella, school business partner Michael Cusumano, Ashley Shinn (Cusumano Realty Group), Jessa Freemyer (Cusumano Realty Group), Nuria Lundberg (parent and English Learner Advisory Council President), Laura Chambers (McKinley Librarian) and Danielle Kuester (McKinley Curriculum Specialist.)

“The planning team was amazing and it was all possible because of all their hard work,” Costella said. “This was a wonderful opportunity for the students, staff and parent groups to show off all the wonderful activities and learning opportunities we offer at McKinley.”

McKinley Community Fair Showcases School And Neighborhood Services

William McKinley Elementary School held its first annual Community Fair in conjunction with the yearly Open House on Wednesday, May 6. Free tacos and live entertainment from the McKinley Hip Hop Club and the David Starr Jordan band drew lots of interest.

“The idea behind the fair was to bring resources in our community to our families while also displaying all of the great things we do at McKinley,” explained McKinley Principal Liz Costella, who estimated approximately 350 people attended the event, which was free and open to school families, neighbors and community members.

McKinley Community Fair committee members (from left to right): Ashley Shinn (with son Aiden), Sandra Johnson, Principal Liz Costella, Nuria Lundberg, Juan Avila, Laura Chambers and Michael Cusumano. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

McKinley Community Fair committee members (from left to right): Ashley Shinn (with son Aiden), Sandra Johnson, Principal Liz Costella, Nuria Lundberg, Juan Avila, Laura Chambers and Michael Cusumano. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The McKinley Community Fair was held on the grass area outside the school from 5:00 p.m. until Open House concluded at 8:00 p.m. Tables were also set up to showcase the clubs and PTA programs at the school. Once the schools’ doors opened at 6:30 p.m. for Open House, a steady stream of people kept the Community Fair tables busy.

“The vision was to bring a sense of community to our school,” continued Costella, who acknowledged the sponsorship of the free taco cart by Cusumano Real Estate Group. “We wanted to bring in community members to offer resources to our families but we also wanted neighbors and community members to know all of the great programs we have at McKinley.”

“I think we succeeded in building a sense of community. I got many compliments from parents that even called [the day after the event] to tell us how much they enjoyed it and what a great feeling it brought to the school and to open house,” she added. “During open house we not only had our families visiting classrooms but  community members also came in to visit class rooms which is unusual for open house.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The McKinley Community Fair committee included Costella, Michael Cusumano of Cusumano Real Estate Group/Burbank Business Partners, Ashley Shinn of Cusumano Real Estate Group, Juan Avila (McKinley Office Manager), Laura Chambers (McKinley Librarian) and two McKinley parents – Nuria Lundberg and Sandra Johnson. Shinn attended McKinley and her mom worked at the school, noted Costella, and Shinn’s son plans to attend McKinley when he enters Kindergarten.

“The McKinley Community Fair was a fantastic event that was an opportunity to showcase for the community all of the wonderful things that are going on a McKinley,” commented Cusumano. “McKinley was able to show case their Hip Hop Club, who performed several dance sets at the Fair, their Garden Club, their fantastic arts program and many other of the great programs that they have.”

“The Jordan Middle School Band, where the students of McKinley will go when they graduate McKinley, was outstanding,” added Cusumano. “It was a great opportunity for our community groups, such as The Burbank YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, BTAC, Kids Dental Clinic, The Gordon Howard Museum and many, many others to network with and get to know the families in and around the McKinley neighborhood.”