Back to School Night attempts to get kids excited for school

Friday, August 17, 2007 | 2:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Ernest Dorema writes his name on a paper star while his sister Erneisha Dorema looks on. They attended the Back to School Night event at West Boulevard Elementary which prepares students and their parents for the upcoming school year.

Students were eager to be back at school Thursday for West Boulevard Elementary’s Back to School Night.

“I love seeing the kids after the summer break,” Principal Vicki Robb said. “I just love getting all the hugs.”


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Back to School Night is designed to inform parents about the upcoming school year and get the kids pumped to start a new year.

MU student Ann Pickel, who works at West Boulevard as a teaching assistant, was in charge of handing out ice cream for the kids and parents after they enjoyed the jump house that was provided by the Columbia Police Department.

“My favorite part tonight was to be able to meet the people in the community and to know who I will be working with,” Pickel said.

But for Andrew Shaw and Shelby Hayden, second-grade students, their favorite aspect of Back to School Night was the jump house and ice cream social.

Another element of Thursday’s activities was a contract students sign with their parents saying they will care, respect, support each other and communicate in a positive manner.

“Do you promise to do your very best?” second-grade teacher Vicky Stohldrier asked.

“Yes,” Shaw responded.

The Columbia Police Department is a Partner in Education with West Boulevard Elementary and has been for 20 years. They are a part of Back to School Night, and police officers “adopt” aclassroom to visit once a week throughout the year.

Detective Jeff Westbrook has been involved in the program for the past four years. Westbrook assists teachers and helps kids on a one-on-one basis.

“This allows us to interact with kids in a friendly environment,” Westbrook said.

Officer Tricia Rigsby has adopted one of the kindergarten classrooms. This is Rigsby’s first year, and she is looking forward to doing arts and crafts with her students.

“I am excited to just play with the kids and be a good role model,” Rigsby said. “Not all kids have good role models.”

Back to School Night did get students and teachers ready for the Monday, the first day of school.

“I can’t wait to see my friend Bobby,” Shaw said.

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