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Schools Splash Into Final Days
With just over a week of school left in the 2011-2012 school year, local campuses are gearing up for special events and activities.

Students at Dent Elementary enjoyed a recent 'Field Day' in celebration of completing testing, with two different field day dates. The first time around, said officials, third grade students were on a trip out of town and missed the party. So the Parent Teacher Organization agreed to host a second day, this time with the third graders enjoying the various water games and a bounce house on Friday, May 11. The warm temperatures provided the perfect back drop for the water games and kids didn't mind getting drenched.

Meanwhile, Graduation Day for Escalon High School will be Friday, May 25 while El Portal Middle School's graduation is Thursday, May 24 and the graduates of Vista High School will be honored in a ceremony on Wednesday, May 23.

Prior to those events, however, Van Allen Elementary School is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a special open house and reminiscing time tonight, May 16 starting at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served and all former Van Allen students, staff and parents are encouraged to come and share their memories of the school through the years.

Collegeville Elementary School will have its Western Days celebration on Friday, May 18 starting at 11:30 a.m. and students will take the stage at 6 p.m. Friday night for a talent show. Kindergarten graduation at Collegeville is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23.

At Farmington Elementary, kindergarten graduation will be at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 with the school's Field Day festivities on May 24 starting at 8:15 a.m.

At Vista High School, an estimated 20 graduates will enjoy ceremonies starting at 6:30 p.m. in the high school Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, May 23.

The El Portal Middle School graduation, with three student speakers, will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 in Memorial Stadium at Engel Field on the Escalon High School campus.

The Class of 2012 at Escalon High will take the stage for graduation on the football field on Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. with about 218 graduates. Valedictorian and Salutatorian honors will be announced this week.

Finishing touches are also being put on the all night Sober Grad party for the EHS graduates as well.

"During the day on Wednesday, May 23 we will be decorating in the new gym from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.," said Sober Grad co-coordinator Tammy Alcantor. "Thursday we will be there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and we will finish up on Friday."

Volunteers are welcome to attend and help with the decorations and the committee is still looking for some donations to put on the graduation night party.

"I do need some dealers for the games from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and also some additional security from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.," Alcantor said. "We also still need donations of boxers for our 'Boxer Bingo' and we are looking for donations of water or Gatorade."

Gift cards for the seniors, to be used as giveaways, are needed as well and can be for fast food, coffee, music and more.

Alcantor said overall the preparations for the Sober Grad Night are going well and the committee hopes to see a large percentage of the graduating seniors turn out. The party has been historically well attended, with students spending the final night of high school partying with their friends in a safe and sober environment.

Doors open at 11 p.m. and the party lasts until about 5 a.m.

Call Alcantor at 209-480-3728 or Debbie Leal at 209-639-2513 to volunteer or for more information.