Dancing with Flippy the Dolphin, learning to hula hoop and zipping down an inflatable slide, families got to enjoy a recess break together for the sixth Family Fest at Linden Street School on Saturday, May 11.
Donna Cavallaro, who organized the event through the school system’s Family Resource Network, said they lucked out with the weather this year. So many groups signed up to participate that if they had needed to move inside they wouldn’t have been able to fit everyone.
Eighty community groups were present, not including vendors and entertainment, like a miniature petting zoo.
Plainville resident Sue Clarke said her daughter was excited to see inside the back of an ambulance, something she had tried to imagine. Clarke also enjoyed seeing the younger kids in awe as some of their favorite fantasy characters, like Batman and Cinderella, were walking around.
Clarke called the event a great chance for youngsters like her daughter, who goes to Toffolon, to see friends across the district and interact with teachers outside of school.
Linden’s Interim Principal Phil Sanders said walking around outside with their teacher or being served a burger by an administrator makes students, especially elementary schoolers, more comfortable when they leave home in the morning.
“It breaks down that teacher-student barrier,” he said. “It’s not about ‘didn’t do homework,’ it’s about having a great time.”
Even though they weren’t in the classroom, the district ensured the Family Fest was a learning opportunity for all who attended.
The library had a section set up inside the school and every child who stopped by got a free book to take home, while outside Cyril the Sorcerer showed the magic of recycling and clean water.
As her kids climbed around the cabin of the fire department’s Rescue One vehicle, trying on helmets and fiddling with flashlights, Plainville resident Abby Deschaine said she’s glad to see the town holding community-building events like the festival.
“It’s a day we get to spend as a family, which is so rare,” she said. “I think it’s great for the town to let them know it’s a family-friendly town.”