Heritage Elementary School's 'Back-to-School Barbecue'
Heritage Elementary School's Principal, Veronica Farran, once again set the tone for a dynamic learning environment on the K-6 campus by 'hosting' the school's annual 'Back-to-School Barbecue' on Wednesday, August 9th, the third day of school. What a great way to put smiles on the faces of all participants: students, staff members and many parent volunteers. This was no ordinary 'backyard barbecue'. The logistics were formidable. This barbecue involved 610 students, 50 support staff and 20 parent volunteers! Roberto Beltran and Crisanto Ciau, members of the Heritage maintenance staff, once again served as excellent, 'veteran' chefs. In order to accommodate all the participants, lunch was staggered into three groups.
'Master Chef' Baltran summed up his feelings about the event: "I love doing it. We love barbecuing for the elementary school. The kids look at us like we're heroes. They thank us and tell us they appreciate us. Makes us feel pretty good. We do that for the high school and FLEX programs as well."
American Heritage Charter Schools' founder 'Coach' Snyder was on hand to help pass out burgers and hot dogs and show the new students his special secret handshake. "The students can't wait each year to show Coach how they still remember his special handshake and tell him how they appreciate the BBQ," said Administrative Assistance Leanne Megna.
Principal Farran was wearing her 'Hot Dog' leggings in honor of the annual event, which caused many giggles from the kindergarteners and first graders. Jonah, a 4th grader, said: "I really enjoyed my cheese burger." Lily, a first grader, said: "I can't believe you are giving me this hot dog for lunch today! I love hot dogs!"
The 'Back-to-School Barbecue' was a hit with parents as well. Parent volunteer Sarah Pipes said: "It was so nice to get to know some of the new parents and see all of the students enjoying the BBQ. It was great to see the students showing their excitement for the new school year!"
Deborah Altenburg, parent volunteer, commented: "The 'Back-to-School Barbecue' was and always is a huge success! The kids absolutely love and look forward to this very special event each year. I have volunteered for the last five years. Each year it is very rewarding. Not only do they have excellent food for the kids, but an outstanding menu for the teachers and volunteers. The chefs outperform themselves every year. Watching the interaction that Coach Snyder and Mr. Roner have with the kids during this barbecue is the icing on the cake!"
Grandpa Graham Grainger, who helped with the barbecuing, stated: "It was my pleasure to help with the event and how nice it was to see the students enjoying it."
...And so began the 2017-2018 school year at Heritage Elementary School filled with happy students, staff and parents! Dynamic!