Parents, volunteers aid Walnut Grove’s Dance for Technology fundraiser
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 24, 2014 | 2105 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Students dance along with Zumba instructors Heidi Vento and Stacy Mercado Friday evening, Feb. 21 at Walnut Grove Elementary.---Photo by Brooke Borba
Students dance along with Zumba instructors Heidi Vento and Stacy Mercado Friday evening, Feb. 21 at Walnut Grove Elementary.---Photo by Brooke Borba
Parents, teachers, well-to-do volunteers and students of Walnut Grove Elementary rallied together to celebrate a night of frivolity and technology at the Wildcats’ first Dance for Technology fundraiser Friday evening, Feb. 21.

Participants were treated to free Jamba Juice, warm-ups, Zumba dance routines and glow sticks, as well as many other free prizes (including an iPod shuffle, Kindle Fire, Nano camera and $50 iTunes gift card) all for the sake of garnering new technological advances for Walnut Grove students.

Proceeds from the fundraiser went towards new Forte keyboards—a keyboard with a built-in screen that provides specialized writing support, keyboard instruction and math facts.

Lisa Montgomery Sanchez, Wildcats’ PTO president, said it was important for the parents to actively engage with their children while promoting positive decisions as part of their curriculum. She also hopes to provide many more Family Fun Nights while garnering support for the school.

“Our PTO is a family event for the kids in our community,” said Sanchez. “A lot of parents are working during the day, so we try to have Family Fun Nights once a month for the children and their families in the evening so the parents can attend.”

Fellow PTO board member and event coordinator Angelica Reyes said the organization is growing little by little and has already acquired over 80 members so far. She also hopes to reach community members who are interested in dedicating their time and efforts for local children.

“It’s really important that we reach out to the community,” said Reyes. “They are a big part of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Community volunteers for Friday’s event included Zumba instructor Heidi Vento, her assistant Stacy Mercado, Patterson Health and Fitness trainer Carlos Garcia and students from Patterson High School’s break dance troupe, SoPhresh.

Although the event was dedicated to raising funds for technological devices, the volunteers proved that the kids will have to boogie down and bust a move for what they wanted.

“You absolutely need a balance between technology and fitness,” said Vento. “I think the PTO came up with a great idea tonight. You have to start their habits young. Kids have to be well-rounded.”

Garcia was also humbled to be included in the PTO’s event, and said that he was happy the organizers were able to balance the children’s interests while raising funds for technology.

“My daughter is eight, and a third-grader at Walnut Grove,” said Garcia, who led warm-ups for the evening. “I just love this school because they are able to get the community involved in ways that really help for our future. Most of us tend to be centered on ourselves, and expect change. If we want to see Patterson change, we need to get behind the youth. I think everyone needs to give back to their community and become actively engaged. That’s how we’ll help our future.”

Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or

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