Tag Archives: Traveler

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.


No Horsing Around at ‘Rivalry Day’ at McKinley Elementary School

USC mascot Traveler shows his gentle side at McKinley Elementary School. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This past week McKinley Elementary School held their ‘Rivalry Day’ with the idea that even while attending elementary school you can start thinking about colleges.

Kids played relay games and even got to pet Traveler, the real USC Mascot.  Traveler who is owned by Burbank resident Joanne Asman and is ridden by Hector Aguilar, who is also a Burbank resident and former Burroughs High student.

USC made sure they were well represented (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The idea of rivalry day came about a couple of years ago during a parent teacher meeting when a teacher and a parent were brainstorming how to get elementary students to think about their future. The days not only involve the fun & games, but the kids also collect funds for a scholarship program for McKinley grads who after high school decide to go on to a college of their choice and can submit an application for use of the student funds collected.

USC -UCLA Rivalry lives right here at McKinley Elementary School. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)