SAN GABRIEL, CA – Hundreds of Roosevelt and Washington elementary families, staff and community members played games, enjoyed musical performances and trick-or-treated on Oct. 20 to celebrate the fall season, kick off Halloween festivities and raise money for student programs.

Washington Elementary’s Fall Festival featured carnival games and concessions, face painting and a photo booth. The annual community gathering, put on by Washington’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), raises money for field trips and student enrichment programs.

“This event is special to Washington because it brings all of our families together to enjoy a day of fun and support our students,” Washington Principal Sandra Dunville said. “We are lucky to have dedicated parents and community members who care so much about our school.”

Each grade level set up its own carnival game, such as a ring toss, cornhole, rubber duck pond, putt-putt and football toss. Students played for tickets that they traded for prizes while parents perused the silent auction and cake walk.

Clifford the Big Red Dog also stopped by the event to promote children’s literacy and encourage families to visit the school’s book fair.

“This is my fourth Fall Festival and I have a lot of fun every year,” Washington third-grader Sammi Wang said. “I like getting to play with my friends and I like the raffle prizes we can win each year.”

Roosevelt Elementary’s PTA-sponsored Trunk-or-Treat evolved from the school’s Harvest Festival, which Principal Cheryl Labanaro Wilson said has been held for at least the last 20 years.

“We’ve grown this long-standing Roosevelt tradition into something that showcases our Music Immersion Experience program and gives students a safe place to trick-or-treat,” Labanaro Wilson said. “This event helps parents and families make a connection to our school and to come together to provides our students a fun Halloween celebration.”

This year’s Trunk-or-Treat featured five cars – with trunks decorated as graveyards and Andy’s room from “Toy Story” – where students could trick-or-treat, as well as concessions and family-friendly games.

Roosevelt’s MIE students also showcased their skills during a talent show, which served as the first public MIE performance of the year. Students delighted parents with instrumental pieces and danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Roosevelt also held a costume contest for students and raffled off prizes like “principal for a day,” “lunch with the principal” and “lunch and tennis lesson with the assistant principal.”

Both events were staffed by parent volunteers as well as students from Jefferson Middle School and Gabrielino High School, many of whom are Roosevelt and Washington alumni.

“San Gabriel Unified parents and community members play a vital role in ensuring our students receive the best educational experience possible,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “We are grateful to have a strong base of parents and volunteers who come together to create engaging experiences for our students.”


SANGAB_FALL_FESTIVAL1: Washington Elementary students show off matching face paintings at the school’s annual Fall Festival on Oct. 20.

SANGAB_FALL_FESTIVAL2: Roosevelt Elementary students await the results of the costume contest during the school’s Trunk-or-Treat Halloween celebration on Oct. 20.