By Jason KUROSU
It was a carnival-like atmosphere that greeted Monte Vista Elementary supporters on Saturday, April 16 when the campus was transformed into a fairground for the annual PTA carnival.
In the midst of a sweltering afternoon, the PTA, students and other volunteers set up food and game booths throughout the playground area. Carnival attendees dressed for the heat and huddled under the awnings of the booths, absorbing the shade while admiring the attractions.
Many of the unique games, like Mystery Key, Ping Pong Puddle and Electric Chair, were created by parent Peter Gick.
“He’s very clever,” Monte Vista Principal Susan Hoge said. “Peter created a lot of great, new games.”
The game booths each had their own customized signs and were manned by students, many of them middle school and high school volunteers. In addition to games, there were other activities such as art classes and face painting. The variety of activities kept the carnival attendees busy, as did the variety of food.
Up the stairs from the playground was where the food was prepared and served.
“The Armenian and Korean club parents volunteer every year. They fight each other for space every carnival,” she said, laughing. Los Gringos Locos also had a booth set up.
All in all, the carnival was one in a series of successes.
“It’s been going on for decades,” Hoge said. “It’s fun for the kids and also for alumni. We have a lot of alumni come back for this.”
The jubilant atmosphere of the day coincided with much that Monte Vista had to celebrate, considering that the school was recently named (along with several other local GUSD and La Cañada Unified schools) to the California Business for Education Excellence 2010 Honor Roll. Schools named to this list have, according to the CBEE’s website, “been recognized by California’s business community for having demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and making significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all their students.”
“We are honored to be named an Honor School,” said Hoge. “It validates the hard work of our students, staff and parents.”