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Hearst Elementary cancels Fall Festival

Original post made on Oct 30, 2015

Hearst Elementary School's Fall Festival has been canceled after the school was unable to find enough volunteers to run the event.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 30, 2015, 4:31 PM

Comments (19)

a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 30, 2015 at 10:40 pm

The people in this area are pathetic. Yet thousands of dollars were raised to give teacher a spa day or possibly a Hawaii vacation, so stupid. All these people care about anymore is " LOOK AT ME, WHAT I HAVE DONE " " I RAISED MORE MONEY THAN YOU FOR MY KIDS TEACHER " Finally some put a stop to that. Oh let's no forget next months Castlewood event where all the Pleasanton people flock to say again " LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE " and you all wonder where these kids get there lousy entitled attitudes from, grow up and raise fine young people who will learn to embrace what really matters in life.

Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.


Don't you think you are being a bit harsh? I am not a member of the Hearst community, but where I live everyone is very, very busy. The one-income families are the minority, almost all have both parents working, and who works short hours anymore? So unfortunately, my guess is that too many exhausted parents chose not to sign up for another four hours of work on a Friday night. I can't blame them, and I'd rather hang with my kids at the Festival than work it.

Unfortunately, a very small percentage of parents are involved with the PTA's which generally run these things, which benefit ALL kids. But almost all parents I know have been involved with something at some point, whether it be the PTA, volunteering in the classroom, coaching little league or one of the many other sports, serving on a board for one of these sports, etc.

Bottom line, parents are busy. It's hard to get volunteers, and I think why it's hard is understandable.

Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2015 at 9:31 pm

There are two/three high school full of students that need community service hours to graduate. Maybe somebody could coordinate those kids to work these events.

Posted by WRONG !
a resident of Lemoine Ranch
on Nov 1, 2015 at 2:57 am

Same sports , same responsibilities, same community, diffrent lazy demographics. The entitled, who expect to do nothing. Nice try LIBERAL. This is just the beginning. Maybe giving $600.00 to a teacher just makes you feel better about yourself. Do you realize that only 15% of the normally needed volunteering was met this year? Never was a problem past 15 years. Ask yourself, who makes up 75% of our schools demographics now ? And don't forget about the " LOOK AT ME GROUP, LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE DONE, I AM BETTER THAN YOU " worse than ever.

Posted by Be Positive
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Nov 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Look at the increase in housing prices....starter homes inching to the $1,000,000 range. Many households are led by two busy, working parents who are most likely commuting to work and don't get home until after the carnival set-up. Times are changing because it's nearly impossible to live in Pleasanton on one salary. Hearst is a wonderful school with a great parent community and staff. Canceling the carnival is not a reflection on the community, but the times.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 1, 2015 at 9:19 pm

My observations with volunteering unfortunately is in agreement with Wrong!'statement. The school demographic is not representative of the parent volunteers. I was glad to see the schools trying new fundraising events targeting this demographic to get them involved.

Good for the school canceling the event for lack of volunteers.

Posted by Get Real
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Nov 2, 2015 at 9:35 am

To "What a Joke" - don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Yes, there are many competitive people- welcome to the real world.

To "Wrong" (aka What a Joke?) You sound frustrated - is it because you couldn't get volunteers to work for you? If so, I totally understand why. The importance of sound parent leaders in our community cannot be overestimated. You just sound so prejudiced against a certain *demographic* and a people who have the discretionary income to spend on what they want (there is nothing wrong with giving a teacher a spa day as long as everyone who contributes is in agreement). Who'd want to work - for free - with you?

You do sound a bit harsh considering Hearst just in the last month had what I understand was a very successful Fun Run raising over $40,000 for the school. Maybe volunteers are still recovering from that effort? Volunteerism for events like the Fall Festival may be down but there is definitely support there. Survey your parents to find out what's important to them and they will step up, regardless of *demographic*.

Posted by AP
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Nov 2, 2015 at 10:32 am

Congratulations to Hearst on the Fun Run Success! That event in itself takes a lot of volunteer hours in planning and work before and during the event. Many more students can participate in this than an after school Friday night event. So sorry this was presented in a negative light. If it came down to a choice between events a good one was made. I'm not a member of your school community but I am a member of the Pleasanton School community so I hope my wholehearted Thanks to your volunteers is heard load and clear!

As for the "demographics" I haven't seen it when I've volunteered. People have been very generous with the time they have. I grew up in a different time and place. Most of the Moms didn't work and there weren't anywhere near as many activities as our schools and extra curricular activities put on. There are so many worthwhile activities but only so many hours in the day to both attend and volunteer. On the one had a positive but people are stretched pretty thin with it all.

Last, I liked the idea of community service hours being used for events. Might fill some gaps and provide some good alternatives for High School students.

Posted by Realist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2015 at 10:39 am

Some above introduced a possible cause as changing 'demographics'. Makes sense. Expectations, awareness, plus discomfort when many have not fully assimilated themselves to our ways. That's reality if they stick to the old, rather than eagerly, embracing our ways.

Posted by Get Real
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Nov 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm

To Realist - If I may suggest a change in perception ... that the "old" Pleasanton ways perhaps needs to be changed to eagerly embrace everyone who is here. now. in 2015. Enough of this "us" vs "them" mentality!

Posted by Tina
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

The Fall Festival was a fun event and many people worked very hard to make it happen. Some people worked to try to make it happen this year and it didn't. I don't believe that makes the community "a joke" or "wrong" they just made a decision on what they value - as we are all entitled to do. I feel badly for those who tried so hard, but at the end of the day they did all they could and can hopefully move on. We all have limited time or resources to contribute and we are all "entitled" to choose what we decide to spend them on. Possibly next year people will realize they did miss the Fall Festival and decide to volunteer.

Posted by Kids come first
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm

The funny thing about reading these posts is that no one really focused on who is losing out. The kids. First off parents I understand work is important, most people have to work long days, I did and still do even though all my kids are grown but I always made adjustments to my schedule when events like this came up, first off it gives your child a sense of pride that you are taking notice to important things happening in their school lives. I am sure the school gave everyone enough notice on when the event was going to be so how hard would it be to take some time off work or suck it up and work a few more hours to benefit your child's education and to teach them that sometime you need to make sacrifices in life be it staying up a little later to help with an event or work extra hours the next week to make up for work, come on parents use your brains its 4 hours of your life.

I made sure my children were involved in these events being hosted by their schools, they learned so much from them, they learned humility, compassion,empathy and to this day volunteer themselves as adults in various places. Doing things like this is the best way to teach your children how to be great adults.

Good luck next year, maybe advertise more and even old timers like me would come out to help.

Posted by Jen Zuanich
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm

This makes me sad to read. My kids used to go to Hearst, and the carnival was a high point in the year. In the future, please reach out to the high schools. There are lots of students who need community service hours, and what a fun way to earn them!

@ What a Joke/Wrong: Food for thought: is your anonymous blaming, name calling, and ranting making the community a better place? I think lack of civility is also a problem in our community, in particular on the PW blog.

Posted by Fred
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm

High School and Middle School students were reached out too but it is the Amador Valley vs Foothill football game and it was hard to get students to come and help. The event was changed from the 30th to accomadate the Castlewood people and if it was not changed I am assuming the student volunteers would have fixed this problem. Why we depend on students where parents are the ones to help is really the question.

Posted by CJ
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm

If I had known they needed volunteers I could have helped. I think the community would have stepped up to volunteer. We don't have children in schools, but, could have been finger printed and whatever was needed in order to help the children have a fun Fall a Carnival.
Perhaps Hearst can make it up to the students and throw another carnival in the winter or spring?
If the community knew there was a need we could have stepped forward.
People of all ages would have enjoyed volunteering at the carnival. We just needed the school and the Weekly to publicize that need earlier.

Posted by What was missed
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 3, 2015 at 6:19 am

I think people are missing some components as to what actually happened before the event was cancelled. The festival was originally set to run on Friday oct 30. Attendance was going to be very low that night being that it was Halloween weekend and there were too many other competing events around town, so within two weeks of the event they changed the date by 1 week. This did a number of things: 1) put the event into a new month 2) put the entire event in the dark 3) made it harder for people to plan around on short notice. 4) they rescheduled the event on the night of the amador/foothill football game. They cancelled the event rather prematurely in my opinion, I know a number of parents that quite frankly were just trying to get through Halloween before planning their November weekends. I know a number of teachers that hadn't yet sent out Volunteer sign-ups yet. And I know that no one had been given notice that the event was in jeapardy of not happening due to low turn out... Had that happened I am quite certain people would have stepped up to help, if not, maybe then some of the blame filled comments on here might be more warranted. And if the event were not conflicting with the high schools' biggest sporting event of the year and lack of parent help would most definitely been filled by our communty's spirited student body from those schools.

Posted by What are you saying
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2015 at 9:49 am

There are several comments here about "changing demographics". What are you talking about, what demographics. Tell me what people you are referring to. Is this a guessing game, who do you mean? Just say it, don't be afraid. Really, I have seen parents of all sorts volunteering, so please explicitly tell me what people you are talking about.

Posted by Poor Leadership
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Nov 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

I agree with "CJ" and "What was missed."

I think the cancellation was due to poor planning and poor management by the leadership at Hearst. In addition to all of the issues that "What was missed" listed, this is also the overlap of soccer and basketball season, and lots of practice times just got set or got changed due to the end of daylight savings time. In some past years, they moved the carnival to the spring because it was a less busy time. That might have been a wise decision this year.

It wasn't "Hearst" that cancelled the festival, it was a few people in the leadership who suddenly decided to cancel it without consulting the Hearst community and without making any serious plea to get more volunteers. Rather than rise to the challenge of the occasion, they decided to take their ball and go home. It seems like a rather petulant response, and sets a bad example for the kids on how to deal with challenges.

For those who are blaming some sort of change in the parents this year, keep in mind that parents have kids in Hearst for 6 years, or longer if they have more than one child. So there has not been a drastic change in the parents this year. What has changed is the leadership. PTA leadership changes every 1 or 2 years, and this year we have a new Principal.

(As a side note, why isn't Hearst Elementary School one of the choices for school community on this web site? Must be part of the conspiracy:-)

Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Let's be clear here, the "leadership" at Hearst regarding the festival refers to the PTA, not the principal or teachers.

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