East Midvale Elementary had a big birthday to recognize at the annual PTA fundraising carnival this year.
On its recent 50th anniversary, the school has a lot to celebrate. From the new carpet the school received over the summer, to the corn and tomatoes growing in its courtyard garden, to the shrubbery and picnic tables donated by a local business for the United Way’s Day of Caring, there were plenty of reasons to party.
“Every year we have a carnival, but we blew it up this year for a chance to get out to meet and greet the community,” Principal Justin Pitcher said. “The school is the community center for our students, that’s why we host them here. The more they come here, the more comfortable they are.”
Hundreds of parents, students and patrons of the school attended the party, which included a rock climbing wall, enormous bounce houses, food trucks, live music and photo opportunities with Leo, the Real Salt Lake Lion, and Grizzbee, the Grizzlies’ mascot bear.
The school and PTA began planning the fundraiser in February. Most of the money raised from the event is used to pay for fieldtrip buses, says PTA President Heather Erickson. But the carnival is also an opportunity for the school to give back to the community, Erickson says. The bounce houses and rock climbing wall are fun, but the best part of the event is the annual clothing drive.
“There are parents who are barely making it who come and support our carnival, so we try to give them something in return,” Erickson said. “I just think the clothing drive just alleviates stress. Parents who come here know this is something they can count on in the fall.”
Erickson collected 14 over-sized sacks of gently used clothing for infants, children and adults, including shoes, new underwear, coats and some ski gear. Parents could take as many clothes as they needed, no questions asked, for free.
The school has a variety of resources to benefit its community, which includes a small population of refugees who attend East Midvale. The school has a full-time psychologist, social worker and special education teachers to help meet the needs of students.
“It’s awesome,” said Canyons Board of Education member Robert Green, who represents the Midvale area. “It’s a great school with a great principal and a great community.”
See the District’s Facebook page for a photo album of the event.