By Councilmember Bill Miranda When we first set out with the idea for the 30 Things for 30 Years contest, our hope was that the student participants would learn more about our City and be proud of the community they live in. They did that, and so much more. Our local elementary school students were challenged to come up with any 30 things in honor of our City’s 30th Anniversary. It could be anything from reading 30 books to taking 30 pictures of oak trees. The winning school will get a birthday party on the City’s official birthday, December 15. We received nearly a dozen submissions from our local schools. Classes, groups, families, individuals and even entire schools got in on the fun. We were so impressed with the creativity, depth of spirit and community giving that was brought forth in the submissions we received. At last night’s council meeting a selection of submissions was presented. We saw posters from Mr. Crawford’s Fifth grade class at Mountainview Elementary School who jumped at the chance to take part in the contest. In fact they did 30 jumping jacks and created posters with the saying, “We jumped at the chance to celebrate 30 years!” These posters included some of their favorite things about Santa Clarita, including our super fun neighbor Magic Mountain, our libraries, parks, open space and one student even drew our famed onion that history says was plucked from under the Oak of the Golden Dream with gold on its roots. Ms. Johnson’s kindergarten class at Pico Canyon Elementary School decided to celebrate the many different languages and cultures that make up our City. They learned 30 different ways to say Happy Birthday to Santa Clarita, in 30 different languages that are spoken by residents of our City. They each took a photo with their birthday greeting. The Kindergarten classes at Mitchell Community School also created a beautiful poster for us. The students were inspired by the recent Thanksgiving Holiday and created 30 turkeys with feathers highlighting the things they are thankful for. The students at Highlands Elementary School chose to collect 30 different items to donate to 30 different organizations in Santa Clarita. Some of the items they chose include personal care items for military care packages, food for the help the children food pantry, gently used toys and books for the Domestic Violence Center, warm socks and gloves for Bridge to Home, they also planted flowers in their community and did a recycling drive. It was a tough job deciding who the big winner was, with so many worthy entries that were deserving of the prize. In the end, Charles Helmers Elementary School was selected for their submission. For the week of November 13, students chose a theme each day to give back to the community. They collected donations, wrote hundreds of letters and planted 30 plants in honor of the City turning 30 years old. We look forward to celebrating with them on December 15. Bill Miranda is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].