Fall Festival provides a key part of rural school funding, support

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Oct. 19, 2013 at 5:19 a.m.
Updated Oct. 20, 2013 at 5:20 a.m.

Baylee Orozco, 6, of Edna, plays on the obstacle course during Guadalupe Elementary School's Fall Festival.

Baylee Orozco, 6, of Edna, plays on the obstacle course during Guadalupe Elementary School's Fall Festival.   IAN TERRY for The Victoria Advocate

Olivia Bowers, 5, kept her arm still as Carla Cantu painted a penguin onto her arm.

Cantu, who has been a professional face painter for the last 25 years, was hired by the Friends of Guadalupe Elementary School booster club to work at its annual Fall Festival in mid-October.

This year, the booster club raised roughly $20,000 through the festival to put toward instructional workbooks and field trips.

"It was busy," Cantu said. "There were a lot of people, but it was very well controlled."

The festival serves as the booster club's biggest fundraiser throughout the year, said Will Larew, booster club president.

"It's a really big event," Larew, 32, said. "The school just gets packed with people from all over the community."

Without the booster club's support, the school wouldn't be able to purchase additional workbooks or field trips, said Guadalupe Elementary School Principal Laura Longoria.

Longoria also serves as the principal for William Wood Elementary School, another small rural campus that's part of the Victoria school district.

Each campus budget is based on how many students are enrolled at the campus, Longoria said.

As of Thursday, William Wood had 111 students on its campus; Guadalupe had 124.

The average VISD elementary school campus within city limits had about 500 students during the 2011-12 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

William Wood will host a festival of its own this upcoming Friday, Longoria said.

"Being a small school means having a small budget," Longoria said. "The parents really support the school by putting on the Fall Festival; they help us out a lot."



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