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Purdy Elementary starts school year with bang: Big trucks and community partnerships

Gabriel Robbins looks out from the seat of a Cannon Companies dump truck at Big Truck Night at Purdy Elementary School in Purdy on Aug. 30.
Gabriel Robbins looks out from the seat of a Cannon Companies dump truck at Big Truck Night at Purdy Elementary School in Purdy on Aug. 30. jbessex@gateline.com

Purdy Elementary kicked off the start to the school year in a big way on Aug. 30 with its second annual Big Truck Night and open house.

The event featured more than 20 community partners and their big trucks, including the Gig Harbor Police Department, Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, Peninsula Light Company and GameTruck.

The event is a popular way for students to not only get excited for school, but to get inspiration for future career ideas from the companies and organizations at the event, Principal Kristi Rivera said.

“Not only do kids get to maybe sit in the trucks or see what they look like, they also get to talk with people who work with the companies and learn about different jobs they might have in the future,” she said. “It’s just such a wonderful event for our families as far as inspiring our kids for the future.”

Not only do kids get to maybe sit in the trucks or see what they look like, they also get to talk with people who work with the companies and learn about different jobs they might have in the future. It’s just such a wonderful event for our families as far as inspiring our kids for the future.

Kristi Rivera, Purdy Elementary principal

The event is hosted by the Purdy Elementary PTA and has grown in size from last year’s event, according to Kathleen Moloznik, the PTA chair of the event.

“I think students were more excited about starting school the next day because they had just been there (at the school),” Moloznik said.

The theme of the event was “Dreams Under Construction,” which the PTA will keep as an event theme throughout the year.

I love that this went so well this year and that they wanted to bring it back. I think it’s a great way to get our kids excited and get our families out there interacting with our community partners.

Kathleen Moloznik, Purdy PTA event chair

“I love that this went so well this year and that they wanted to bring it back,” Moloznik said. “I think it’s a great way to get our kids excited and get our families out there interacting with our community partners.”

The PTA was able to raise $2,500 for fifth grade activities from several sponsor donations, including donations from the Peninsula Light Company and Cannon Companies.

Other community sponsors include Archon Tree Services, Dr. Paul Kadzik DDS and Associates, Purdy Veterinary Hospital and, new to the event this year, the United States Postal Service.

In addition to tours of the company vehicles and interactions with representatives, event attendees were able to learn about community and school programs including Bricks 4 Kidz, the YMCA, Children’s Home Society, Girl Scouts of America and Chi-Chack Community Language Center.

In the end, the event was popular with students, families, Purdy Elementary staff and the community partners.

“It was just more than I even could imagine,” Rivera said. “I think it’s so important to partner with the community and know that we’re all in this together for the kids.”

Moloznik agreed: “I love that the PTA and the school and the community are partnered up in the education for our children. I think it’s so important.”

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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