Skip to main content

Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Celebrating Creativity

NEWS                                                                                   Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  880 S. Lemon Avenue
September 22, 2014                                                            Walnut, CA 91789


Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909)595-1261 ext. 31204

Celebrating Creativity
Collegewood hosts dot day parade

WALNUT, CA—Everybody loves a parade! Hundreds of parents lined up to watch a kaleidoscope of colors and designs during the Collegewood Elementary dot day parade on September 18.

Students brought in boxes, paper and supplies from home and then let their creative juices flow.

One group stretched their imaginations making puppies from simple cardboard boxes. Another group of youngsters decorated a fluffy artic polar bear float.

“It was 100% on their own,” second grade teacher Diane Zell explained. Students were encouraged to make their mark using critical thinking and collaboration.

Classes marched through the campus showing off creative floats banners, displays, posters, and decorated boxes.

One clever fifth grader carried a bright blue bird painted on a square box complete with feathers and golden wings. Another artsy group designed and built a five-foot-long horse covered in black tissue paper and tape, with a mane of black felt and red felt bridle.

A group of fourth graders in Scott Jones’ class proudly wheeled a white block-shaped Minecraft wolf float made from cardboard boxes, tape, and paint.  Transitional kindergarten students wore adorable decorated crepe paper hats.

Second grade groups marched through with a Tinkerbell float and a time machine. 

“I’d like to go to go back to the age of dinosaurs,” said Anthony Ramirez, age 6.

The idea for the creativity parade began with a letter written to the principal by third grader Sophia Hill.

She asked her principal for a reward if the class filled its gold coin incentive jar. Collectively students earn gold coins for demonstrating ways they exceed expectations with the 4Rs: Ready-to-Learn, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, Respectfulness.

“I thought it would be fun to have a parade with floats and invite the president!” the courageous eight-year-old said.

When Principal Joan Perez gave the green light for a school-wide parade, the third grader wrote a letter to President Obama.   But, because he was busy running the country, our Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor rode through the parade as the official Grand Marshall.  Watch out Rose Parade!

“When our students learned of Sophia’s idea, they were so excited!  They were inspired to innovate and create parade floats all while practicing our 4Rs.  Our entire school community was amazed how rigorous and relevant the entire process was.  I can’t think of a better way to model for students that hard work and determination yields great rewards!” Perez said.

Perez combined the school parade with the international Dot Day, an event that celebrates courage, creativity, courage, and collaboration. And it all begins with a dot.

“The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who fosters students to trust in their abilities to be creative and being brave enough to make their mark in the world,” Perez added.

Zell’s second grade class chose an Under the Sea fishing theme using cardboard, duct tape, wooden dowels, yarn, and pipe cleaners. The crafty kids carried tiny fishing poles with paper fish dangling from the yarn fishing line. Another second grade group created a fishing boat float by wrapping decorated cardboard pieces around a wagon.

Pitzil Milagro Castellanos, age 7, made binoculars out of toilet paper rolls, duct tape, and yarn.

“I used a pipe cleaner and paper clip on my fishing pole,” she said.

“And she lost a tooth in the middle of the parade!” her teacher exclaimed.


Collegewood students paraded with their “Despicable Me” Minion-themed float on September 18. 

The dot day parade gave students a chance to explore their creativity. 

Fifth grade students picked an Angels-baseball-theme for their parade entry. 

A class of first graders pulled ladybug floats and wearing lime green class t-shirts and ladybug hats. 

Third grader Sophia Hill dreamed of having a parade with floats and even invited the president. Collegewood hosted the creativity parade on September 18. Hill expertly replicated the school’s vision poster logo on her parade flag. Shown with Principal Joan Perez. 

Collegewood youngest students in transitional kindergarten paraded with decorated crepe paper hats.  Shown with teacher Margot Mackessy.