With school about to start, Westmoreland's elementary school had a party for students -- and parents

DAVID F. ASHTON - Playing with Legos at the school picnic were the Grants - Michael, mom Jennifer, and Taegan. Following a long-standing tradition, the Llewellyn Elementary School PTA held its annual "Back to School Picnic" on the school grounds on Friday evening, September 8.

"To this casual event, we invite all of the students and their families – both new and returning – to come and have a picnic dinner together, and get to know new faces and meet their past friends," explained Llewellyn PTA Hospitality Coordinator Erin Hughes.

Hughes, the mother of a second-grader at the school, told THE BEE that the "PDX Sliders" restaurant nearby brought in a mobile kitchen to assist families choosing not to pack a picnic dinner, while members of the PTA set up a concession stand selling beverages, chips, and ice cream, to help support their programs.

"It's important to the health of the school to have an event like this – getting to know your neighbors, and your sons' or daughters' best friends. It's a great way for our community to help raise all of our children," Hughes remarked.

Another outcome hoped for, she added, was to introduce new families to the PTA, with hopes they'll join in to help support the school.

She told us she particularly enjoys the new kindergarten families coming in. "It's interesting that the kindergarten parents are just as wide-eyed as the kindergartners themselves!"

Llewellyn Principal Joe Galati was roaming the picnic, handing out stickers. "What better way to bring community together at the start of school, than to have an event such as this; it's well attended; they come in, and leave with smiles."

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