Donkey rides were just one of the many attractions at the third annual Kid’s Fest at St. John Montessori School.
Face painting, crab races and donkey rides added up to one spectacular Kid’s Fest at St. John Montessori School on Saturday afternoon, April 14, at the school’s Estate John’s Folly campus.
The third annual Kid’s Fest raised $3,500 for the elementary school which has a student body of 15 children ranging in age from three to eight years old.
While the event drew every St. John Montessori School student along with their parents, numerous volunteers and the generosity of local businesses ensured the fest’s success, explained the school’s director Debra Polucci.
“We had 100 percent participation from our families as well as numerous volunteers from the community,” said Polucci. “Things went very smoothly this year because we have a core group of volunteers who have come out each year to help run the event and by now, we’ve got a pretty good handle on things. And we had some new volunteers this year who were full of energy.”
“Also so many businesses donated goods and services for our raffle and were so willing to give,” Polucci said. “It’s a great feeling to know that this kind of help is out there.”
Funds raised from the Kid’s Fest, which this year drew about 100 people, go to operations and scholarships for the school, Polucci added.
Big attractions at the event included donkey rides thanks to Coral Bay Corral, hermit crab races with “Crab Mon” Ted Scheer and a new Match Box raceway, the Montessori School director explained.
“This was the first year we had the match box mini raceway and it was a huge hit,” she said. “The kids couldn’t race enough and the winners took home match box cars. They all thought it was pretty cool.”
Other attractions included a popular arts and crafts table, hula hooping with Gina Wellner and musical fun with Delroy “Ital” Anthony, Polucci explained.
“Ital teaches music with us and he led the kids in a circle of songs,” she said. “They all got into a circle and sang a few songs that Ital had taught them. They played a few games and had a great time.”
Fantastic food didn’t hurt the day’s popularity either. “Coconut Mon” Tyrone brought out his deep-fryer and kept it busy with fish and french fries, Polucci added.
“We had M.J. Foodie from Aqua Bistro here and he did delicious tempura grouper and french fries which everyone loved,” said the Montessori School director. “And parents made all kinds of delicious side dishes. It was just really great.”
While Polucci and the St. John Montessori School staff adore their John’s Folly home, the school is experiencing growing pains and eyeing a move closer to Cruz Bay.
“It’s a great place; I love it out here,” said Polucci. “But I don’t know if we can stay out here in John’s Folly. It’s just more convenient to be in Cruz Bay.”
“We’re looking for a new home,” she said. “I think next year will be our last year here.”
Located in the remote south shore neighborhood of John’s Folly, the school is the sole pre-school anywhere in the Coral Bay area, but is less than convenient for Cruz Bay families, Polucci explained.
“There are a lot of Cruz Bay families who don’t want to make the drive and Cruz Bay is a more populated area,” she said. “We are the only pre-school in the area, but if there isn’t a big call for us, then we can’t support the school.”
Even moving the school closer to the Coral Bay harbor area would make it easier for a number of families who live in the Cruz Bay and Fish Bay areas, Polucci added.
“We’re pretty far out here and I think if we were in Coral Bay even it would be a lot better,” she said. “We want to keep our Coral Bay families, but to know us is to love us. The people who know us, I don’t think they will leave.”
“What I hope is that the people who don’t know us will give us a try if we are in a better location,” said Polucci.
Anyone who missed the Kid’s Fest can still donate to the St. John Montessori School. Just call 775-9594 or check out the school’s Facebook page for more information.