Wednesday, October 23, 2013

West Side Mom: Alamo Halloween Parade and Carnival 2012


Alamo Halloween Parade and Carnival 2012

Last year I was able to attend the Alamo Elementary Halloween Parade and Carnival and this review is a record of my impressions from that event last year. You should attend this year - it was super fun:

http://www.friendsofalamo.org/events/carnival/

Alamo is our local school and I've heard great things about the school academically. The idea of walking a few blocks to school and maintaining our strong connection to our neighborhood is very attractive. On the down side it is a school with less diversity, per the numbers (See SFGeekMom's post http://www.sfkfiles.com/2013/10/sfusd-elementary-schools-by-race-and_12.html and http://www.sfkfiles.com/2013/01/rich-school-poor-school-how-much-money.html ) and diversity is important to our family. My husband grew up one of very few students of color in a predominately white district in another state and didn't really enjoy that experience.

The first things I notice at the event is parent participation - lots of it! There are loads of booths with games, face painting, parent led activities, and all sorts of wonderful snacks to buy and eat. If you go this year be sure to go into the cafeteria, support your public schools and get a yummy lunch to boot. And the parents & students are much more diverse group that I was expecting. It also feels like all the parents are participating, not just one group of parents, and I like that.

Alamo PTA & Friends of Alamo together raised a good amount (http://www.sfkfiles.com/2013/09/rich-school-poor-school-comprehensive.html) and Alamo has afterschool and before school programs - so far so good.


There are a little less that half of the students on free or reduced lunch. I grew up poor, and ate a free lunch every day here in California public schools. We are pretty solidly middle class anywhere in the US but San Francisco. And we feel lucky to live in such a great place, don't get me wrong. But I don't want my daughter thinking she's poor because we are surrounded by the wealth here in SF - so a school with diversity of income levels is also a good thing in our eyes.


The parade is charming in the way the elementary school parades are and it's really sweet to see so many proud parents and squirmy costumed children on the sunny afternoon. We had a great time at the event and the event left me feeling really good about my neighborhood school and Alamo remains at or near the top of my list.


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