Parents, students get involved in 'I Am Lincoln' event in Vallejo

By Irma Widjojo/Times-Herald staff writer/
Posted: 03/03/2013 01:04:21 AM PST

Torriana, 7, wrote down "I love Lincoln because it is fun."

Her small poster will be one of the many posters hung in the hallway of Lincoln Elementary School. The creations were
made by the community members during Saturday's first-time "I Am Lincoln" community event organized by the school.

"We want to focus on the positive of the community," Principal Melanie Buck said. "The event is for the community. A
school can really make a community, and the community can make a school. We are here to change the culture."

Children and their parents participated in many activities for a small fee, including face painting, bingo, quilt and poster
making, and browsing through the book fair. Tickets for activities were sold at 25 cents each.

Parent volunteers, as well as volunteers from Touro University and Vallejo High School, helped out at the event.

"We received so much support," Buck said.

Local businesses donated raffle prizes, while parents brought food for the festival.

Torriana's family lives just a couple of blocks away from the school.

Her mother, Nicole Kimmons, said two of her children, including Torriana, attended the school.

"I love (the event)," Kimmons, who also volunteered on Saturday, said. "It needs to happen more often. Parents need to
get involved with their children's schools."

Buck said the event was also organized in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in
Connecticut, last year.

"We're standing together to let people know that the kids are safe in our school," she said.

Kimmons also said that parents' involvement is critical, especially after the Connecticut mass shooting.

"I think parents need to step up and find a solution and speak on behalf of their children," she said.

Tony Ubalde, Vallejo school board member, said he was proud of the school.

"I like Lincoln's approach," Ubalde said. "We need more dialogue like this between the school and the community."

Contact staff writer Irma Widjojo at (707) 553-6835 or iwidjojo@timesheraldonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @IrmaVTH.