FROM READERS: Derby Ridge Elementary transformed by Candy Land Dance

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:47 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Candy Land board game was the inspiration for a dance Saturday at Derby Ridge Elementary School. Teachers and volunteers dressed as some of the game characters, such as Queen Frostine, the Lollipop Fairy and Ms. Mint.

Sherry Wohlgemuth, who shared this text, is a Derby Ridge Elementary School parent and a Family School Partnership board member. Kerissa Kirk, who shared the photos, is a volunteer.

Students at Derby Ridge Elementary School were invited to come to the school with their families for a free night of fun on Friday, February 8, as the school’s Family School Partnership (FSP) hosted the first-ever “Candy Land Dance.” This family-focused event featured everything from teachers showing kids the latest dances, crafts, freshly-made cotton candy, fun photography, a silent auction and, of course, candy!

Principal Jeri Petre was impressed with the turn-out as kids made their way through all the activities. “They are really having a good time tonight with their families,” said Petre. “This was a well-organized, fun event for everyone.”

The dance idea came from a combination of the desire to bring school families and teachers together outside of the regular school hours, and also to help raise funds for the FSP. One of the FSP board members, Jacki Swank, had been storing candy-themed décor for a possible birthday party for her kids, and the “Candy Land Dance” was born.

The popular Candy Land children’s game was the theme for the decorations as the school’s gymnasium was transformed into the game board by a committee of dedicated FSP volunteers, teachers and Derby Ridge staff. Teachers and FSP board members dressed as some of the game characters such as Queen Frostine, the Lollipop Fairy and Ms. Mint. The creative mind behind all the elaborate decorations was Derby Ridge FSP volunteer Kerissa Kirk, who spent many hours hand-crafting candy décor for her “vision” for the Candy Land dance.

“We really wanted to come up with something new and different for our Derby Ridge families,” said FSP board president, Maggie Wolfe. “This was a free, fun event that everyone could enjoy. We’re very pleased with the turnout and hope to put the event on again next year.” Wolfe indicated that the funds raised during the silent auction will go toward the board’s goal of purchasing iPads for each classroom at Derby Ridge.

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This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor Joy Mayer.

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