Come rain or shine

Jackson Bell

Dedicated students of Stevenson Elementary School and their parents

braved cold morning rain and dodged puddles to participate in Walk

Kids to School Day and open house.


Well, at least some of them did. Those soaked from the expedition

Wednesday said they had a great time.

Third-grader Mathew Smith said he loved the rainy walk to school

with his father.


“We talked about what we would do to be careful [when walking] and

he’s sick, so I asked him if he’s feeling better,” Mathew said.

Arriving between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., students and parents gathered

in the recently renovated outdoor lunch shelter for hot drinks, juice

and breakfast snacks.

“I think the kids like it in the rain because it is something

different,” said Leslie Smith, Parent-Teacher Assn. president and

Mathew’s mother. “But they aren’t allowed to go into the puddles.”


Principal Paula Willebrands said the event had two purposes. The

staff wanted to promote safety among the 25% of the student body that

walks to and from school daily and to show parents the school’s

recent modernization during the open house.

Usually scheduled in October, the annual Walk Kids to School Day

was pushed back to coincide with the introduction of such

improvements as air conditioning, a renovated playground, new tile

and paint. Other renovations include redesigned classrooms with more


computer access, storage space and cabinets for TVs and VCRs.

The cost was $3.5 million.

“Because it was funded by the city of Burbank, we wanted the

parents to see how their tax dollars were used,” Willebrands said.

“It was pretty dismal before with a bad paint job and the kids were

hot. Now it’s clean and modernized, and it’s projected to take us

into the next 50 years.”