Daytona block party with focus on education draws hundreds

BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
DAYTONA TIMES

The Westside Elementary School Parent Teacher Association sponsored its annual “Neighborhood Watch for Education” block party on Oct. 15 in the Cedar Highlands neighborhood of Daytona Beach just south of Westside Elementary.

Hundreds of onlookers watch the Westside Elementary School Marching Eagles as they begin their set. (ASHLEY D.THOMAS/DAYTONA TIMES)
Hundreds of onlookers watch the Westside Elementary School Marching Eagles as they begin their set.  (ASHLEY D.THOMAS/DAYTONA TIMES)

More than 300 parents and students flocked to the block party.

“Westside Elementary has held this event for a number of years,” Daytona Beach City Commissioner Patrick Henry told the Daytona Times.

“The community support is here from all avenues,” he continued. “There are teachers, PTA members, school administration, students and parents. Everyone has come together to celebrate the successes our students continue to make.”

“I’m proud to say that Westside Elementary is in my district,” Henry continued. “The students are standing in line for books. Not video games, or the newest gadget but for books. I commend those that continue to support this venture and make it a possibility for the community.”

Kids agree
“I love books,” 6-year-old Joshua Dudley added. “Our teachers tell us we can go anywhere and be anything.”

Danielle Claxton, a graduating senior of Bethune-Cookman University, also was pleased with the turnout. She already works with students as a teacher’s assistant at Westside Elementary and was at the event with the School of Education from B-CU.

“My goal in life is to help people,” Claxton said. “So I figured what better way to help than to start with kids? Just to see the light in their eyes when they grasp a new concept, it’s so rewarding.”

In addition to free books, the community enjoyed free concessions as well as safety items such as wristband reflectors and bicycle lights.

The Westside Elementary Marching Band performed at the event.

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