High Five

From the Capitol to the classroom, the last few months in Southeast have been all about kids.

Kids’ festivals, kids’ games, kids’ performances, kids’ education, even opportunities for adults to act like kids (within reason). Yup, children were at the forefront during April and May. 

Centennial Elementary School student Nerea presents flowers to Michele Bryant April 24. [Courtesy photo/Kimberlee Noyes]

It started April 24, when students at Centennial Elementary School paid homage to the school’s critical administrative-assistance team. Each class presented a gift to the school secretaries, Mary Herriott, Michele Bryant and Daniel Loa, as a way to show appreciation for their hard work. 

A few days later, everyone got to act a little childish at the Deerfield Hills Community Center and Sprayground. That’s because April 27 was El Día de Los Niños, or the Day of the Children. 

The multi-agency, community-building effort involved inflatables, clowns, folkloric dancers, face painting, animal balloons, piñatas, gift bags for the kiddos, books, information tables, raffles, snacks… the list goes on. The fun-for-all-ages event came together with the partnership of Servicios de la Raza, the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the RISE Coalition, Colorado Springs Police, the Sand Creek Library, Safe Kids Colorado Springs, James Monroe Elementary School and Kids on Bikes. 

Even Spider-Man and Captain America swung in to show their support.

Spider-Man and Captain America visit with children during El dia de los Ninos at Deerfield Hills Community Center and Sprayground. [Courtesy photo/Jody Deerington]

A few weeks later, it was over to Mission Trace Shopping Center, where El Cinco de Mayo Inc.’s annual fiesta and car show took place. Kids of all ages thronged to the venue on May 5 for activities that included live music and dance performances, a DJ, food, vendors, games, a petting zoo, face painting, basketball clinics, a couple of bounce houses and the city’s most colorful hotrods, rat rods and classic cars.

The celebration, which involved the help of the RISE Coalition and Solid Rock Community Development Corp., was unquestionably a success. It was the 36th annual fiesta, but the first at Mission Trace. The party has bounced around for the past several years; however, planners were hopeful the Southeast center could become its permanent home. 

If you missed the fun, you can check out our photo essay. 

And lastly, just to prove that learning can be fun, Gov. Jared Polis stopped by Centennial Elementary School on May 14 to sign four bills into law. The ceremony took place in a kindergarten classroom packed with students, dignitaries and community leaders. 

The governor was flanked by Southeast lawmakers Rep. Tony Exum and Sen. Pete Lee, both Democrats, as well as Rep. Tim Geitner, R-Falcon, Sen. Paul Lundeen, R-Monument, and Rep. Mark Snyder, D-Colorado Springs, as he signed their respective bills. With each, the governor announced “now it’s the law of Colorado,” to cheers and applause. 

— Cory Peterson

To submit an item for the High Five, email a detailed description of the event, including date and location, and photos with identifying information from left to right to features@southeastexpress.org. For more information, call Regan Foster at 719-578-2802.

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