Families and Community Come Together at Back to School Event at Oasis
Laughter, greetings, smiles, and happiness were in the summer air. Who would have thought the end of summer could be so much fun?
This past Saturday, August 5, the air was charged with enthusiasm and beginning-of-the-school-year excitement at the Oasis Mobile Home Park. Local organizations, including D214, the Salvation Army, Harper College, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Elk Grove Township, First Student, and many others, partnered with CCSD59 to host a Back to School Meet and Greet. Students and their families from multiple mobile home parks in the district were in attendance and had the opportunity to get information and have some fun.
The annual celebration included a 5K race, free hamburgers, outdoor games, and music. The Cook County Sheriffs and the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District firefighters and paramedics brought vehicles to showcase and interacted with students, sharing in the fun. Students toured the ambulance, played soccer with the fire department, and got to turn on the siren (quite a number of times!) in the police car.
“It’s so heartwarming to see the community members, volunteers, and CCSD59 staff come together to provide such a fun event for our students,” said Melissa Tejeda, community outreach specialist at CCSD59, “while also making it a good resourceful event for parents to learn about local community action agencies.”
Local sponsors once again made possible a generous raffle with thousands of dollars in prizes, including five Chromebooks, and much more. Students in attendance also received 260 new back packs filled with supplies, which were also donated by sponsors. The CCSD59 Community Cares Closet handed out gently used clothing items to students in need of school shoes and winter boots.
Outreach specialist Anabel Hodges said she enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm for school the event creates. “I love seeing the kids’ excitement when they participate in the day’s activities and receive a backpack loaded with supplies,” she said. “It gets them amped up to start school with such a positive attitude.”
The annual event continues to provide opportunities for staff and students to come together to learn, prepare for a new school year, exchange ideas, and quite simply, just have a great time.
Marlyn Orozco, family facilitator for the Early Learning Center (ELC), said it is one of her favorite annual CCSD59 events because of the happiness it brings to all those who attend. “Every year, I hear families express their gratitude for this event,” she said, “because they are able to not only receive valuable information and learn about available resources, but best of all, just enjoy some memorable fun family time with their children.”