By Staff Reports
(Adelanto)– Cars lined every street within a half mile of Theodore “Ted” Vick Elementary School on Thursday night. Families poured in from every direction to attend the second Community Forum hosted by the Adelanto Elementary School District.
Nearly 2,000 students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and community members attended the event, braving a surprising chill in the air. Enthusiasm filled the air as families went around to games and activities from various school departments. Local businesses lent their support with booths providing information. Victorville Motors had a fundraiser to benefit the district during the event, donating up to $4,500 for people going on test drives in their latest vehicles. Free hamburgers from Carl’s Jr. were served up all night.
The forum began with the honoring of District staff who have served for 10, 15, 20, 25 and even 35 years. This was followed with performances from the Bradach Bears cheer squad, songs from students at Eagle Ranch Elementary, and a zombie-filled performance of “Thriller” from the students of George Performing Arts Middle School.
Trustee Elaine Gonzales shared what she hopes this event will continue to do. “I’m pleased there is so much parent participation,” she explained. “This builds a stronger district. Parents are giving more input, and expressing their opinions at the Board meetings.” Board of Trustees President Christine Turner expressed a similar feeling. “Events like this forum bring everyone together, get more businesses involved in our schools, and everyone has a great time. It takes a village to raise a child, and here in Adelanto we are a village.”
Yolanda, mother of Jason, a 2nd grader at West Side Park Elementary, watched as her son played a game with addition flash cards. Both expressed that they had fun at the event, which combines learning with fun, and shows off what various schools are doing. A student band performed in the busy cafeteria as other students learned about physics by making paper airplanes and stick bridges.
Leslie Porras, a parent of 1st and 7th graders has been looking forward to her second community forum. “It is great to see what other schools are doing, and seeing parents whose children go to other schools. It is good to have the whole city working together.”
All areas of life in the city were represented, as well. Mayor Cari Thomas and former District Superintendent Ted Vick (for whom the school is named), and Ms. Victoria Magathan were honored attendees, and local businesses participated as vendors. Local car dealership Victorville Motors conducted a fundraiser during the event, giving up to $20 for each person that test drove a new car, up to $4,500. Representative for Victorville Motors, Kevin Smilen expressed the importance of being active in the community. “As a responsible business in this community, we have to be involved. These students are our future employees.” His colleague Billy Mack indicated that at that point in the evening they had raised over $3,000, well on their way to the goal of $4,500 in donations to the school district.
Parents and students explored more than two dozen activities put on by various school departments. Fifth grade teacher at Victoria Magathan Elementary School Lanita Dominique was impressed with the turnout. “It really builds strong personal relationships, seeing parents and staff outside of school. This brings a positive connection to our community. It also lets them know what is going on at each school.” PTA Volunteer parent Maria Deharo agreed, saying, “it is for the kids, and everything is great!”
Next to their booth was a table with a huddle of students around it, playing what looked like a video game, but was really an activity carefully designed by Imagine Learning to help students read. A pilot program launching at Victoria Magathan Elementary, the program uses a mix of media familiar to students who are “digital natives” says Shawn, a representative of the company. “The program creates an individualized path for struggling readers based on testing. There is data the teachers can print out, and recommendations for additional help the teachers can use.” Siloah, a 7th grader, said the games were fun, and start out easy, but get harder as you gain more points.
District Superintendent Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux was very pleased with the entire event. “It was an awesome event, bringing parents and the community together for the benefit of our students. Togehter we can make it happen. I “Bee-lieve” in Adelanto!”