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January 16, 2008 > New room for a bright future

New room for a bright future

By Shari Wargo

Mission San Jose Elementary School (MSJE) in Fremont held an assembly on Friday, Jan. 11, to formally open their new multi-purpose room for use. Attending the event were students in Kindergarten through sixth grade, school teachers and staff, and various dignitaries. Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman, Fremont Council Member Steve Cho, Fremont Unified School District Superintendent Doug Gephart and Vice President Ivy Wu, and Fremont Education Foundation Board President Dave Bonaccorsi and Vice President Nina Moore were all at the assembly to show their support and say a word or two of congratulations. Each of whom were given a pair of scissors to cut their own part of the ribbon during the official ribbon cutting ceremony, and told afterward that it is theirs to keep to remember this event.

Previously, the school had been using a much smaller room which held a standing occupancy of around 200. Students were only able to eat lunch for about 15 minutes or less before they had to go outside to finish their meals to make room for other students who needed to eat lunch. During the winter months when it rains, students would either have to cram into the small room's space or stay in their teacher's classroom to eat lunch.

With the opening of the new multi-purpose room all students during each lunch break time will be able to eat indoors and together. MSJE Principle Mildred Byrd said that there will also still be benches outside for students who choose to eat outdoors. She added that MSJE is now able to form a basketball team which may practice indoors and hold games at the school rather than always having to visit the opponents on their campus as before.

Byrd said the new building will give the students a sense of pride because it is a new building on their school's campus, and that these students will achieve more because they are proud of their school. Just before the ribbon was cut, students sitting in rows on either side of a large picture of the school mascot, a mustang, which reads "Mission San Jose Elementary Mustangs" counted down the seconds aloud for all to follow along. As the ribbon became pieces the students clapped.

MSJE students now have a room to hold plays in, play various sports or recreational activities in, and more importantly, a place to come together and share with each other. After the assembly for the official ribbon cutting, Byrd had another special treat for students, their first assembly performance in the new room. Comedian and magician Phil Ackerly performed some comedy with the students then proceeded to make a volunteer weightless. Ackerly then asked Byrd to the stage to help with his floating table trick, and laughed as she tried to figure out how it worked. He ended his performance with the audience by telling and showing students the secret to magic tricks.

This performance was the first of many more performances to come, and was so very important because the school used to have to hold several assemblies for all of the students to be ale to see the performance, but now all the students are able to share the experience together during just one assembly. "Today, for the first time in 40 something years, Kindergarten through sixth grade students are sitting together," said Byrd.

After Ackley's performance Byrd awarded a certificate of appreciation and small gift to two parents, Greg Green and Renu Joshi, for all of their hard work and support. Students and staff clapped again with appreciation and lined up for treats to end the celebration of the new room and a bright future.

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