Kelloggsville — “I thought you were joking when you said you were going to get your haircut,” said a Kelloggsville parent to his son, as James Arness Miller Jr. trimmed the boy’s hair.
A 2001 Kelloggsville graduate, Miller, who is owner of the Beauty and Beast Salon, has been providing free haircuts at the Kelloggsville Community Celebration for the past couple of years.
“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Miller said.
With warm fallish weather on Sept. 15, Kelloggsville Middle School was bustling as families, students and staff enjoyed inflatables and low-cost food. For more than 20 years, the district has hosted the Community Celebration in the fall as an opportunity to bring the Kelloggsville community together.
The Kelloggsville cheerleaders were handing out necklaces and poms along with free temporary tattoos to get everyone revved up for the evening football game. The Latino Student Union hosted the Loteria, a Spanish game similar to bingo. Other community and school organizations had information tables, some offering free water bottles, ice cream, and other goodies.
The Place Was Hopping
Superintendent Jim Alston, who was helping on the free snow cone station, said he felt like this year’s event was one of the biggest. A sign of that was the school’s Spirit Store table, which had pretty much sold out of everything about a half hour before the event ended.
“I knew it was going to be busy,” said senior Renae Blair, who was helping with the 54th Street Academy’s Community Crown, where students could get their hair braided. “I just did not realize it was going to be this busy,” she added as she took down another name for her waiting list.
A first time event, the Community Crown is a program the 54th Street Academy patterned after a similar event science teacher Trent Ruby had seen at Grand Valley State University.
“Hair is important in the African-American culture and this is an opportunity for us to provide a community project that really connects to our students,” Ruby said. He added that the plan is to grow the project to include more stylists.
Kelloggsville parent Viaunca Garcia said the Community Celebration is something that her family looks forward to every year because of the variety of activities.
“It is cheap entertainment,” said Kelloggsville parent Michael Ward as he sat in the middle-school cafeteria having dinner with his family. “But more importantly, I think it is good for the kids to get to spend some time with each other outside of school.”
Shortly after Ward’s family left, Southeast second-grade teacher Steve Keller came by to wipe down the table just seconds before another family took it over.
“This is a great opportunity for me to reconnect with some of my former students, especially those I have not seen in awhile,” Keller said. “I get to catch up on what they are doing.”