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.
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.”
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.”