The seventh annual Many Families One Community family resource fair returned to Golden Valley High School on Saturday, offering students and their families a wide variety of program information and educational courses.
The event utilized the whole campus for the event — with the main auditorium hosting 50 different community resources for attendees to learn more about. Representatives came from places such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the North Los Angeles County Regional Center, Canyon Country Library, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and many more.
Catherine Kawaguchi, superintendent of the Sulphur Springs Union School District, said one of the things she felt families within her district wanted most was information on navigating the school system.
“I think one of the things from my district is just how to navigate the high school system like A through G requirements and things like that,” said Kawaguchi. “It changes all the time and just educating them and preparing them for the junior high to high school transition. It’s not an issue [per se] it’s just educating everybody on [how] to prepare your children to be successful as they move on through the valley and in our districts.”
Sal Frias, principal of Golden Valley, said having resources available dedicated to mental health was something students and families inquired frequently about.
“Mental health is always something we’re going to focus on since the pandemic, actually before but now it’s a little higher, but the stress in life dealing with being a teenager today is harder than it’s ever been,” said Frias. “Social media, peer pressure, kids vaping — there’s a lot out there so we try to help our kids [and] help our parents support their kids. It’s also hard to be a parent these days.”
Children, especially the younger ones, could be dropped off at a kids program while families attended sessions held in the school’s classrooms. The kids program had activities like coloring, percussion instruction and coding instruction, and kids were treated to a fire truck visit by the L.A. County Fire Department.
Some of these sessions for the adults and older students touched on topics such as mental health awareness, understanding and protecting transgender students, social media and mental health, drug addiction and navigating the school system.
“The main thing is I want [people] to know that we have these resources available, it’s a free event … we just want everybody welcome,” said Kawaguchi.
Musical performances were provided by the Golden Valley School Choir and Jazz Band, La Mesa Junior High School Choir and Sulphur Springs Union School District Choir.