McGilvra Heart pumps up school activities

This year McGilvra Elementary’s PTA and student community is launching a new campaign called “McGilvra Heart,” which focuses on uplifting and supporting our local community through empathy and generosity.

The first event that embodied this theme was the annual Runathon—a kid-driven fundraiser that encourages good deeds and team support, through “Kid Action, Power of Wildcats.” The superhero theme was on full display in October as our mini caped and masked superheroes ran, walked and wheeled around the playfield for the full hour. Together kids completed 6,798 laps, equivalent to more than 800 miles.

The funds go toward bridging the gap between school district funding and essential services, such as arts and music programming and math and reading specialists. Thank you to all of you who contributed to children’s fundraising efforts, as well as our sponsors Bert’s Red Apple, Denali Fitness, POGO, Darigold and in-kind services from Girlie Press and Carol Hoffman. For a full list of merchants who donated to the rewards incentive booklet for kids, go to

Despite limited space on school grounds due to construction of our new lunchroom building, this year’s Harvest Celebration was just as much a treat for kids as it is every year. The kids enjoyed a glow dance party in the gym, a spooky playground, games and activities on the field and a selfie photo booth. McGilvra’s fifth graders organized a bake sale to raise money for kids in Puerto Rico living with the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria and contaminated water. Kudos go out to the third grade parent organizing team, and all parents who contributed delicious desserts and refreshments for the event.

Thanks to funding from the Building Excellence Phase IV Capital Improvement Program through Seattle Public Schools, McGilvra’s new 5,100 square-foot lunchroom construction is well under way. The school is adjusting to the resourceful rearrangement of space to accommodate current school activity with minimal disruption. It’s been exciting to see foundation and framing work begin, and we are looking forward to seeing the beautiful new green building finished by the start of the 2018 school year.

This fall, McGilvra kids celebrated at Indigenous Peoples Day at Garden Recess. We served corn chips and salsa verde, made with our own crop of tomatillos. The group talked about common foods indigenous to the American continents, and how native peoples cultivated and harvested a wide array of fruits and vegetables prior to the arrival of European settlers. Garden Recess is held on Mondays, from 11:45 to 12:30 pm. All McGilvra families are welcome to attend, so mark it in your calendar and come check out what we do!

The McGilvra Elementary PTA has joined a cohort of Central Area School PTAs from Madrona, Leschi, Lowell and Stevens to host the School Board Debate at Madrona Elementary in late October. McGilvra PTA delegates attended the Washington state PTA Legislative Assembly on Oct. 20-21 in Tacoma, in order to vote on 11 new proposed advocacy positions and hear updates on current platform positions. In addition, the Housing for All Seattle Platform was recently endorsed by the McGilvra PTA board, in support of students experiencing homelessness and families in transition.

Tour dates of McGilvra for prospective families are now confirmed for Nov. 17 and Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m. at the school.

Be sure to like the McGilvra Elementary PTA Facebook page for updates, and our websites for more helpful information: and

Sian Wu is a McGilvra parent