When the school week ends at Valerio Street Elementary School, many students don't want to go home.
Each Friday afternoon, the Van Nuys school throws a skating party in a makeshift rink on the playground blacktop.
Officials say it provides a safe place for students to have fun after school.
A damper was put on the parties, however, after thieves broke into a supply shed recently and made off with 24 pairs of in-line skates, school officials said.
Most of the children come from low-income families and can't afford to buy the skates, so now they take turns using the few the school has left.
"A lot of people have to wait a long time" to use the skates, said first-grader Julian Ellis.
The school is asking the community for donations of skates. Prospective donors are asked to call the school's playground supervisor, Anthony Simpson, at (818) 785-8683.
The stolen skates were forgotten temporarily on Friday, however, during an appearance of two members of the rhythm-and-blues group Somethin' for the People. Mark Lomax and Rochad Holiday signed autographs and gave out tapes.
"This is fun," said third-grader Lorraine Molina.