Tag Archives: rivalry day

McKinley Elementary Rivalry Day Celebrates UCLA-USC Fun

Students at William McKinley Elementary School enjoyed fun and games during the annual Rivalry Day event on Thursday, November 19. Many children dressed in UCLA or USC t-shirts or red or blue colors to represent their chosen team for McKinley Elementary Rivalry Day.

Kids ran relay races with UCLA and USC footballs and got to meet visiting USC mascots Tommy Trojan and his horse, Traveler. Rivalry Day is put on every year by the McKinley PTA, whose volunteers also handed out stickers representing the two universities.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“All of this is part of McKinley’s College Month, which is celebrated every November with events and a field trip,” explained McKinley Principal Liz Costella. “At the beginning of November, there is ‘College Day,’ in which the kids wear t-shirts from any college of their choice and make pennants at recess.”

“The PTA takes pictures of the children, turns them into posters which say, ‘We’re going to college! Where will YOU go?’ and hang the posters in the hallways at McKinley.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“At the end of the month, the fifth graders go on a field trip to UCLA, where they tour the campus and see what a wonderful university they have in their own backyard,” Costella added. “McKinley students also learn to save for college, by donating to the McKinley Alumni scholarship fund all month.”

“In the spring, McKinley gives at least one sizeable scholarship to a Burroughs senior who attended McKinley and who is continuing to college. After they’re chosen, the recipients come back to McKinley for an assembly where they give inspiring speeches and answer questions from the students.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Former McKinley PTA President and current membership chair, Jenny Harris, also co-chaired Rivalry Day and College Month activities.

“Children who start believing that college is an attainable goal when they are in elementary school are more likely to see it as a reality for their futures,” said Harris. “Some kids love academics. Some kids love sports. We want kids to get excited about college, no matter what their interests are.”

“When it comes time to decide whether to go to college or not, we hope that our McKinley kids, who have been thinking about college since kindergarten, will be excited and prepared to go,” she added.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Harris and Costella  expressed gratitude towards Hector Aguilar, who portrays Tommy Trojan, and “interacted wonderfully with the students.” They also expressed thanks to Burbank resident Joanne Asman. Asman, whose grand-daughter attends McKinley, owns Traveler and she and her team transported the horse to the school for the event.

 

McKinley Elementary School Hosts UCLA vs. USC Football “Rivalry Day”

First through third graders at McKinley Elementary School showed their colors on Monday morning as classes split up to represent their favorite Los Angeles area university.  The children divided into teams, one side UCLA, the other USC, and then it was off to the races as each group ran a series of relays with enthusiasm easily matching their elder upperclassmen’s university rivalry.

Photo By John Savageau

“They love it” commented Jenny Harris, PTA Representative in Charge of College Rivalry Day.  That was very apparent given the squeals of laughter and joy coming from all the competitors.  Whether the children knew the difference between UCLA and USC was not important – they were having a lot of fun.

Photo By John Savageau

Harris believes that if children are exposed to college as a part of their future in elementary school, then they will likely see college as a genuine vision for the future.  “If you get kids excited about college in elementary school then it will become a reality for their entire lives” continued Harris.

November is College Month at McKinley.  Activities planned to get children thinking about their academic future include wearing college T-Shirts, hanging college pennants in the hallway from schools located throughout the country, and taking a field trip to UCLA.

Photo By John Savageau

But today was the relay competition.  Originally planned for last Friday, prior to the crosstown classic pitting UCLA against USC football teams at the Rose Bowl, rain postponed the matchup until Monday morning.

Photo By John Savageau

The children did not mind the delay a bit.  In a demonstration of teamwork, determination, blue versus red, all competitors gave it their best.  “Some kids are excited about academics, some about sports” noted Harris.  Each child, in addition to having a great time, learned valuable life lessons in both competition, as well as working together to achieve goals.

Photo By John Savageau

Photo By John Savageau

It is unclear whether the UCLA side or USC side of each class won their competition, and in fact was not important.  The record book will simply state “classes had a lot of fun, learned a few lessons, mission complete.”