Students, parents invited to back-to-school party
by Maddy Houk
Aug 02, 2012 | 830 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local school district officials want to change the negative mindset many students have about returning to school before they resume classes Aug. 13.

Toward that aim, Patterson Joint Unified School District is planning an informational back-to-school block party on Aug. 11, a Saturday, for parents and students alike.

Patterson Unified Superintendent Phil Alfano came up with the idea for the downtown event, which is cosponsored by Patterson Recreation and Community Services Department.

“Our thinking was we wanted it to be a more casual, fun environment that would give parents and students a chance to chat with their principals and district staff,” Alfano said. “We’re hoping that it’s successful and that it can become a tradition.”

Rather than dreading the start of the school year, school district officials wanted to give students a chance to recognize the end of summer break and celebrate the return to school and the continuation of their education, Alfano said. The Aug. 11 event marks the first time the district has hosted such a gathering.

Each school principal will be on hand, as will other school staff members, district trustees and elected officials. Representatives of service agencies, parent-teacher organizations and student clubs and emergency personnel from the city and county also will be present.

Jason Hayward, recreation coordinator with Patterson Recreation and Community Services Department, said the block party is an expansion of last fall’s child safety fair, which provided information boots and fingerprinting for hundreds of attendees. Parents and students will receive safety tips and information about local resources for counseling.

The Polly Klaas Foundation, which fingerprinted more than 300 children last year at the safety fair, will once again be present in the city’s North Park to provide fingerprinting. School crossing guards will demonstrate procedures for crossing busy streets, and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Dive Team will offer water safety information.

The block party will feature games, food, entertainment and prizes, such as a laptop computer, San Francisco Giants tickets, school supplies and gift certificates.

•Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187 ext. 22 or At a glance

Back-to-school block party

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 11

WHERE: Downtown Patterson

COST: Free

INFO: Patterson Recreation and Community Services Department, 895-8080; or Patterson Joint Unified School District, 895-7700.

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