From wall to wall, booth to booth and face to face, everything about the 3rd Annual Many Families, One Community Family Resource Fair was full Saturday.
For the third time in a row, the Sulphur Springs Union School District and the William S. Hart Union High School district partnered to bring more than 40 organizations to the Golden Valley High School gym in an effort to educate families and students about general social, emotional and academic wellness.
“Families signed up and then attended workshops that are centered around academic support as well as social/emotional support for the child as well as the families,” said SSUSD Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi, who helped organize the event. “It’s just about the programs that are in the schools and in our cities that are free to families and help further enrich their lives.”
From nutritional information, to planning out the transition from elementary school to junior/high school, to mental/emotional resources available within the community, parents attending the free workshops learned how to prepare their family for the present and the future, according to Kawaguchi.
The families would then leave the seminars and visit with representatives from resource groups, receive free items and learn more about what’s out there in their immediate community for them.
“If I have a family that’s coming to learn about coming to College of the Canyons, or how to transition to Golden Valley High School, or I have a child that needs some additional support with counseling … they can get and learn that here,” said Kawaguchi.
While parents received informational packets and heard presentations from school administrators, kids entertained themselves by partaking in individual booth activities, watching live performances and/or participating in kids’ programs.
And for those families wanting to enjoy something together, the event featured food trucks, an art competition and live entertainment from a district-wide band made up of musicians from Santa Clarita elementary, junior high and high schools all playing together.
“The highlight for me is the meshing of the entire community, but also, the elementary school parents whose first kid (is going through the education system),” said Sal Frias, Golden Valley High School principal. “Going to junior high and high school is scary, but this helps get them acclimated to it by seeing the school, talking to people from the institutions and getting more comfortable with what the future holds.”
Parents, such as Kala Atragadda whose daughter Nishna is a kindergartener at Valley View Elementary School, said that while her daughter is still a long way away from transitioning to higher education, it’s never too early for her and her family to start preparing.
“It’s good to see the mixed approach level and what (my child) is really getting,” she said. “I’ve attended two sessions on how culture has an impact on the education system, and it’s really good for me to know these things.”
For those who missed the event, Kawaguchi said that it’s never too late to begin planning for next year or to learn about resources available to families right now through the districts’ websites at either www.sssd.k12.ca.us or www.hartdistrict.org.
“Make sure that you know this event is every year and just know that it’s an opportunity to come and receive information that maybe you just didn’t know existed in Santa Clarita,” said Kawaguchi. “It’s all around supporting the child.”