by Lindsey Edwards
Woodrow Wilson Community Learning Center Coordinator

The Back-to-School Night/Lights On! Celebration at Woodrow Wilson Elementary was a great opportunity for students and families to meet their teachers and community partners for the 2012-2013 school year.  The teachers reported an attendance rate of over 75% for students and their families.  The outdoor area resembled a summertime fair with inflatable bounce houses, face painting stations, a petting zoo, and pony rides.  The South Salt Lake Police and Fire Departments were also present to showcase a retired K9 officer and an emergency trailer.

Inside the school a free hotdog dinner was provided, and community partners had booths along the main hallway and in to the gym.  Representatives from South Salt Lake Coalition for Drug-free Youth, the Parent Teacher Association, the Woodrow Wilson Community Learning Center, United Way of Salt Lake, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Utah, English Skills Learning Center, Comcast, Ballroom Utah Dance Studio, Help Me Grow, Century Link, Community Nursing Services, and the Family Literacy Program were able to speak with families about the services of which their respective organizations provide.  Parents were able to meet their children’s teachers for the upcoming school year, receive immunizations, and learn a little more about available resources.  By the end of the evening over 600 people from the Woodrow Wilson family were introduced and/or linked to programs and resources in the South Salt Lake community.  

Families were still roaming the halls and playing on the playground long after the bounce houses were deflated and the face paint had dried.  It is a testament to the sense of community felt here at Woodrow Wilson Elementary where people feel at home while at school.  The Back-to-School Night/Light on Afterschool Celebration was a great way to kick off the 2012-2013 school year.  We offer a big “Thank You” to all of our community partners, faculty and staff of Woodrow Wilson Elementary, the students and their families, and all of the volunteers who made the event a huge success.