Sunlight streamed along the parade route, glinting off of floats, costumes and props. But it was JUSD students who may have shone brightest at
first-ever “Community of Communities” Fall Parade on Nov. 2.
More than 250 students from
Jurupa Unified School District took part in the two-hour event, a celebration of
talent, unity and civic pride in Jurupa Valley.
At the parade, Jurupa students honed their performance skills, entertained spectators – and helped fete
8-year-old city of about 108,000 people.
“Our students are learning to take part in events that contribute to society,” said
Hilliary Salley, principal of the Pacific Avenue Academy of Music (PAAM).
“At a young age, they are learning to make a difference.”
At 6:30 a.m., floats,
equestrian trailers and students in band uniforms arrived for the 9 a.m. parade, which
traversed Bellegrave Avenue from Jurupa Valley High School to Vernola Park.
The sky was crisp blue, folding chairs lined the parade route, and the scent of pancakes filled the air.
“I am impressed that so many JUSD students volunteered to be in the parade today,” said
Karianne Lawrence, parent of a PAAM fourth-grader who participated. “They are showing their dedication to the community, to their schools, and to performing.”
JUSD groups to star in the parade:
Jurupa Valley Future Farmers of America (FFA)
Jurupa Valley High School marching band, drum corps, and cheerleading squad
Pacific Avenue Academy of Music singers
Patriot High School marching band, drill team, and drum corps
Rubidoux High School Air Force Junior
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)
RHS choral group
RHS marching band, drill team, and drum corps
The eclectic event also featured dignitaries, harvest-themed floats, community groups and businesses, dinosaur costumes, and more.
Aliyah, a sixth-grader in choir at PAAM, said her participation reflected pride in her school, community and nation. “We are singing ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag,’” she said. “Singing this song makes me happy. It makes me proud to be an American and makes me understand the privileges that living in this country provides.”
Maj. Mark McLouth,
retired Air Force major and instructor with the RHS Air Force Junior
ROTC, said his students learn leadership and organization skills by marching and presenting the colors in about six parades a year.
“Air Force Junior ROTC students learn to be professional and flexible with others,” Maj. McLouth said.
“They meet and work with mayors of cities, community speakers, emergency responders, members of Congress, and senators.”
ROTC students also shine by learning chain of command, the major said: “Cadet Solis is in charge. He leads, organizes and makes all of the arrangements so that all of our members arrive on time to each event. These are lifelong skills that leaders need.”
Principal Salley added,
“Learning without limits means that learning is a process, not an event. Students don’t just learn in the classroom; they learn in all environments and all settings. Students are learning that no matter how small the contribution, helping the community is bigger than oneself.”