|Conniston Middle School families line up for dinner during the school's recent FCAT Family Night. Below, PBA basketball player John Hawkins, Interim President William M.B. Fleming Jr. and volleyball Head Coach Bob White volunteer at the event. Photos by Joanie Van der Grift.|
With a student enrollment of more than 1,000, Conniston Middle School is alive with activity weekdays when school is in session. But Thursday evening, the lively campus had a little extra energy for its FCAT Family Night supplied by Palm Beach Atlantic University student athletes who were on hand.
Athletic Director Carolyn Stone said that more than 30 athletes volunteered for the evening to shoot basketballs, kick soccer balls and play games on the Wii. They also served and bussed tables for the free dinner that was supplied by Kettle Comfort, a nonprofit organization established by Outback Steakhouse co-founder Tim Gannon to relieve hunger in Palm Beach County.
After a meal of grilled chicken, black beans and rice, the Conniston students and their families enjoyed entertainment by a DJ and the school’s choirs along with a magic show, clown and a dunk tank. But the main purpose of the evening, according to Principal Oscar Otero, was the opportunity to provide information to parents about available curriculum resources and the upcoming FCAT examination.
Conniston is located on Parker Avenue in West Palm Beach, between Southern Boulevard and Belvedere Road. The area is a focus of the Parker Avenue Consortium, which consists of Palm Beach Atlantic University, the City of West Palm Beach and the Palm Beach County School District.
The Consortium, along with other private and public partners, exists to marshal resources to benefit students in Kindergarten through college and their families in order to bring vitality to the neighborhood.