Education column: Census event family fun

By Penny Bailey: Education columnist

Have you ever been at an event and found yourself with a big grin on your face, and you didn’t even realize it? Well, that is what happened to me the other night when I visited Lockwood Elementary School.

As I approached the campus, I could see and smell smoke coming from the grill indicating hot dogs and hamburgers were ready to eat. Then, there were the picnic tables with children and parents enjoying the feast.

I think this is where I began smiling and didn’t stop throughout the event.

When I entered the school foyer, there were so many people and so much activity that I felt like I was at a family reunion. However, the shiny bicycles in the hallway along with a desktop computer and two digital cameras might have led some to think it was Christmas.

But, there was no time to stop and stare as so much more was going on. Someone handed me a fan and a few steps away were crayons that allowed me to personalize it. But, I didn’t spend too much time doing that, as there was more activity around each corner.

Everywhere I went there were students and parents busy with their kids whether working on an art project or being led outside to eat.

And, for our entertainment, there were many spectacular dance groups performing in the gym.

I managed to talk with a few parents, and learned many of them were from La Casita, as well.

How exciting, we had two schools come together to provide such a wonderful event for their families.

But, wait…there’s more.

I also learned that the post office was there in support of this event as families were turning in their Census reports. Interpreters were available to answer questions and help explain the process, and a mail carrier was there to collect the forms and take them to the post office that night.

The principal of Lockwood explained the last Census had only 9 percent of families in their area return the forms.

This evening was a combined effort among the schools and post office to answer concerns of parents about the Census, and provide a cultural bazaar that had everyone smiling. As a special incentive the donated items in the hallway were raffled off for those who turned in their Census forms.

Once the Census results are known, the city of Clovis will be smiling too as I’m certain more than 9 percent of the census forms were turned in at this one family fun event.

Penny Bailey is a communication specialist for the Clovis Municipal Schools. She can be reached at penny.bailey@clovis-schools.org