“I was volunteering at the 49ers youth football junior training camp,” said first grade teacher Alice Williams of her afternoon at Don Callejon School’s May 19 Spring Fling. “I saw Mr. Tyler Hellingson doing floor hockey and basketball with kids. I was at a booth where kids were making necklaces with charms and spelling their names with beads. And I’ve been walking around enjoying lots of conversations and hugs with my students and their parents. I’ve been hanging out with high school kids who are Don Callejon alumni, students who came back to visit for Spring Fling.”
“We estimate our totals [from Spring Fling] to be about $23,000,” said Don Callejon parent Terri Muench and fundraising director of the Don Callejon School Community Organization (DCSCO).
The school was abuzz with activity as kids played carnival games, such as the basket toss and the rubber ducky catch. They controlled robots to battle each other at the Bot Bash station and they helped staff members get rained on at the reverse dunk tank. Later the kids cashed in their award tickets for prizes such as tattoos, airplane models, balls and other toys. The warm weather also prompted attendees to wait in line for tropical shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck or grab bottled water donated by Sprouts.
Giant theme baskets and ticket boxes filled long tables next to the stage. The baskets contained beach items, books, wines, candy, crafts supplies, and body pampering products. Also offered were opportunities for small groups of students to spend time with teachers. For example, Williams gave away movie time and snacks; kindergarten teacher Brenna Burnette, cookie time; and second grade teacher Helen Spencer, pizza and dessert. Though items were bid on in previous years in a silent auction, this year attendees either pledged money for a “Buy It Now” option or they dropped tickets into the designated ticket box for a raffle drawing.
For Muench, this year’s Spring Fling was especially sweet because she was recognized as an outstanding parent volunteer at the district’s Public School Week Awards ceremony in late April.
“It was nice to be up there and to hear that people appreciated what I’ve done,” Muench said. “I think I was recognized mostly because I’ve volunteered for so long at DCS–for 12 years. I was on the DCSCO board for four years as the fundraising chair and I continued the job even though I’m not on the board, because no one else took the position. I organized the movie nights, walk-a-thon and Spring Fling this year.”
When asked about lessons she learned during her 12 years of service to the school, Muench shared first that the simplest things always work the best.
“Nothing succeeds without the teacher buy-in because they’re the ones who get the kids excited and the kids go home and get the parents excited and the parents come and help out at the events,” she said.