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Kelvin Grove throws kickoff party for kids, parents

Paint slip & slide, a dunk tank and water balloon tosses were some of the activities featured at the Colorful Back-to-School Bash Saturday, Aug. 29, at Kelvin Grove School, 808 Adams St.

The Parent Teacher Organization at Milne-Kelvin Grove School District 91 hosted the event between 10 and 2 p.m., allowing students, parents and faculty to celebrate the start of a new school year by meeting one another and having fun.

“We’re hoping (the event) gets parents more informed,” said Karen Hall-Chlebicki, president of PTO at Milne-Kelvin Grove School District, emphasizing how they may not always know what’s happening at the school.

Milne-Kelvin Grove and its PTO host a number of events and programs throughout the academic year, including daddy-daughter dances, family fun nights and bingo.

Hall-Chlebicki said the Colorful Back-to-School Bash is equally as important a resource as other PTO events, but it gives parents and students a chance to see teachers outside the classroom, as well.

She added that the hope is parents will see PTO-organized events, such as the Colorful Back-to-School Bash, and feel compelled to get more involved.

Krissy Dzurney, a mother of a fifth grader and seventh grader within the Milne-Kelvin Grove School District, came to the Colorful Back-to-School Bash to start the new school year in a fun way.

She said her kids are new to the school district so being at the event gives them a chance to meet their classmates and offers herself a way to meet other parents.

Michael Lindstrom, a sixth-grade teacher at Kelvin Grove and long-time resident of Lockport, was in attendance with his wife and kids.

He said, “They’ve never hosted any like this before,” noting that a back-to-school bash was held when he first started working at Kelvin Grove during the 2006-07 calendar year but it was different.

The idea for hosting the Colorful Back-to-School Bash came after seeing low student involvement at last summer’s Back-to-School Dash 5K Run/Walk.

Hall-Chlebicki said parents and runners in the community were seen in attendance more so than students.

The PTO views the Colorful Back-to-School Bash as an attempt to reach students at their level.

“There is something for everyone at the event,” Hall-Chlebicki said, noting that Milne-Kelvin Grove School District is home to children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The event drew in a number of parents and kids despite early forecast predications for showers and thunderstorms.

Hall-Chlebicki said if this school year is deemed a success in terms of connecting more parents with the school and guiding them toward resources to better their student’s experience, she sees the Colorful Back-to-School Bash serving as a good indicator.

She added that the PTO would consider hosting the event next summer depending on this year’s turnout and availability of volunteers.

Mark Crudo, a father of a third grader at Milne Grove Elementary, was watching from the sidelines as his daughter prepared to enter the obstacle course.

He said if the PTO held another back-to-school bash, he would be in attendance, noting that his daughter loves the types of activities made available and it’s not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

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