Dia de los Muertos raises $3,600 for Incline Elementary | SierraSun.com

Dia de los Muertos raises $3,600 for Incline Elementary

Aly Nugent
Special to the Bonanza

Incline Elementary was decked out for the Dia de los Muertos event on Nov. 3,

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, the Incline Elementary School multi-purpose room was transformed from a regular cafeteria/P.E. room to a colorful display of Mexican art, culture and food during the third annual cultural celebration, Dia de los Muertos.

While this was the school's third year in a row of putting on the event, the IES family engagement committee decided to make it a carnival setting, with the hopes of gaining more community involvement and fundraising for vital school programs, including PE, Science and the annual Fifth-Grade Outdoor Education Trip.

"This cultural celebration (Dia de los Muertos) was an amazing, memorable event for IES," said Alma Brubaker, IES family engagement team member and special education aid. "We (teachers) and families get together and make memories with the community we love and I hope we never lose that."

All of the Incline community schools came together to help with this event.

The Incline Middle School entrepreneur class sold churros, the Incline High School Mi Cultura group helped set up and run game/craft stations, and art was donated by Lake Tahoe School.

"In my 10 years in Incline schools, this is the largest, most diversely attended community school event there has been," said Laura Cloninger, IHS English language/math teacher and adviser of the the Mi Cultura club. "(The club) is proud to have been part of this festive night that was successful in bringing all cultures in Incline Village together."

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Children and adults enjoyed food donated from local restaurants such as the Hyatt, T's Rotisserie, Lupita's and Full Belly Deli; however, the bulk of the menu came from Latino parents who worked tirelessly to provide enough food for everyone who attended.

Highlights included chicken mole, tostadas, tamales, enchiladas, posole, sopes, pombazos and flan for dessert.

Incline community members also put on performances to entertain the crowd, while others tried their hands at various Dia de Los Muertos themed games and crafts run by the IES Girls on the Run, Incline students and parents. Event goers also made sure not to miss the always-competitive salsa contest.

With about 600 attendees, the IES event brought in $3,600, which will go straight to student programs within the school.

"Dia de los Muertos was a great family engagement and community event," said Richard Mares, IES principal. "It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Latino culture and at the same time bring the community together for a fun and entertaining night."

Aly Nugent is a teacher at Incline Elementary School. Visit washoe.k12.nv.us/inclines to learn more.