Dolton 149 Back-to-School Carnival Returns, Drawing Hundreds (Dolton, IL) – Kicking off the 2022-2023 new school year, Dolton School District 149 held its annual back-to-school outdoor carnival on Saturday, August 20 – the first since 2019 following the COVID-19 pandemic – drawing hundreds of the district’s students and families for activities, raffles, food, music, dancing, and more at the event.
The rain forecast prompted the district to implement “Plan B” moving the carnival inside Caroline Sibley Elementary School, which featured bounce castles, a giant slide, a live DJ, dancing, a free backpack giveaway, a raffle for new bikes, a farmers’ market booth with fresh vegetables and fruit, free haircuts, and free dental cleanings for students.
The district’s new top administrator, Dr. Maureen White, welcomed students, parents, teachers, and staff to the event and announced the district’s theme for the new school year, “level up.”
Despite the Rain
“Despite a little rain, the return of Dolton 149’s annual back-to-school carnival was an enormous success providing a fun-filled day for students, and it represented another step toward ‘back to normal’ after the pandemic,” said Dolton 149 Superintendent Dr. Maureen White. “While education is serious, we want the carnival to set a positive tone with students and to associate fun with coming to school and to introduce our new theme for the school year – ‘level up’.”
In addition to the bounce castles, snow cones, popcorn for the kids, the Dolton 149 back-to-school carnival also provided free backpacks and free meal boxes that included fresh chickens and all the fixings to each family who attended, donated by Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard.
“I deeply appreciate the generosity of the donated bookbags and meal boxes by Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard,” said Dr. White. “Additionally, I want to recognize that Thornton Township has been a generous supporter for many years of our annual carnival, our children, and our Dolton 149 families.”
To manage the carnival, which ran from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., district employees volunteered to staff the booths, manage the giant slide and bouncing castles, run the games, hand out backpacks, and handle dozens of other operational activities.
“The success of the carnival depends on the generous spirit of administrators, staff, and teachers donating their time to organize the event and manage the hundreds of behind the scenes activities necessary to make the day enjoyable for our kids and their parents,” said Dr. White, who, herself, was busy throughout the day keeping a watchful eye out for younger kids.
Dr. White expressed gratitude to the Dolton 149 board of education for its support of the event.
“We must express our deep appreciation to the board of education for its vision and determined support for our back-to-school carnival,” said Dr. White.
The district’s 2,270 students returned to class on August 29.
Dolton 149 Back-to-School Carnival Returns, Drawing Hundreds