By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Veggie Lovers And Math Wizards At Van Allen
Van Allen
On hand to greet attendees at the fun Math Night, Farmer’s Market and Book Fair on Thursday at Van Allen was Clifford the Big Red Dog, shown here with Job Gutierrez, 3, whose older siblings attend the school.
Kaiden Crawford, 9, a third grader at Van Allen, carefully makes his way through the pumpkins after picking the one to take home.

Thursday, Sept. 26 was a very busy night at Van Allen Elementary School.

The rural campus hosted a series of activities including a Book Fair, Farmer’s Market and Math Night.

A variety of math projects and games were set up outside the school classrooms, with kids and adults taking part. The Farmer’s Market featured a wide variety of booths with fresh flowers, decorative succulents, a pumpkin patch, local cheeses and more. There were also a couple of options to enjoy food, including the Taco Fiesta booth and dairy free Blossoms Creamery ice cream.

Sonia Serrano of Modesto – who went to kindergarten at Van Allen – had decorative fall and Halloween-themed succulents, planted in gourds, ready to take home to spruce up homes and gardens for the autumn and harvest season.

There were also some craft booths, including the ‘Sister Surprises’ set up by Olivia VandePol, 10, and her younger sister Emily, 8.

They offered bookmarks, snack mixes, small succulents, handmade bracelets and more.

For Emily, her favorite piece of merchandise they made to sell was the bookmarks.

“Because I really like to read,” she said.

While making a little bit of money was a fringe benefit, Olivia said the idea was really more about enjoyment.

“My friend had done a booth last year and it seemed like a fun idea,” she explained, adding that she was enjoying being a merchant at the school event.

“I really like some of the bracelets,” she confided in what product she thought would sell out first.

Van Allen Principal Julio Zambrano said he was pleased with the turnout and feels the overall night was a success.

“We’re part of the community and we welcome the community on to the campus,” Zambrano said of opening up the festivities to students, their families and friends. “This was to have a little bit of fun; it gives everyone a chance to see how fun school is.”

It also points out the fact that learning doesn’t have to stop when the school bell rings, as many activities hosted at the Math Night could be enjoyed at home. Purchases from both the Farmer’s Market and Book Fair also went home with many attendees as a reminder of the fruitful evening.