A few years ago Kenworth Sales Company noticed its West Valley City neighbor struggling to meet the needs of the children it serves. Stansbury Elementary School is a Title I School where there are 22 separate languages spoken and English is the second language for the vast majority of students. 96% of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Kenworth Sales Company decided to adopt Stansbury Elementary School as a community partner.
In 2008 Rods Hogs and Rigs was born as the fundraiser for Stansbury Elementary. It is a car, motorcycle, and semi-truck show featuring special guests, face painting, bouncy houses, food trucks, prize drawings, and more. Admission and activities during the event are free, but there are various opportunities to make donations.
After a few years enough money was made at Rods Hogs and Rigs to support two schools. Kenworth Sales Company adopted Hillsdale Elementary School as a second community partner. Hillsdale Elementary is another West Valley City neighbor where 99% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch and over 70% of the school’s population speaks English as a second language.
Even with this fundraiser, funding is still tight for both schools. Due to the allocation structure, $2 million was cut from the Granite District budget including $330,000 lost from Stansbury’s total Title I federal budget for this school year.
“We had to let go of 7 aids,” said Allison Banks, Assistant Principal at Stansbury Elementary School. “We are so grateful for the government funding that helps our schools, but fundraisers like Rods Hogs and Rigs really help us after necessary budget cuts like this. They give us more freedom to help the students with specific needs,” Allison continued.
The funds raised by Kenworth Sales Company provide afterschool program opportunities for the kids including a musical production.
“Without this assistance, the children wouldn’t be able to experience extracurricular activities that help them grow into better adjusted adults,” Allison said. “After school programs like the musical also give the kids somewhere to go so they aren’t alone when they get home. Most of their parents are working two or three jobs and are not often home.”
Last year 40 students participated in their musical. Unfortunately, with this year’s budget reduction, the musical is on the list of possible cuts the school will have to make.
“At Hillsdale we feed the students dinner at our after school programs. There isn’t always a guarantee that they will have dinner otherwise,” added Lisa Wells, Assistant Principal at Hillsdale Elementary School.
With budget adjustments looming, Lisa hopes they won’t need to cut their programs. “Our after school programs are focused on reading and math help for students whose parents may not be able to help them for one reason or another,” she said.
The fundraiser helps in other ways too. Lisa tells the story of third grade twins who came to school in October wearing only one shoe each because their family could only afford one pair of shoes.
“The teachers pooled their cash together, went to Payless, and bought them each their own pair of shoes,” Lisa recalled. “These stories get lost because they are situations we deal with on a daily basis. Assets from fundraisers like Rods Hogs and Rigs help us so less money is coming directly out of teachers’ pockets.”
Rods Hogs and Rigs will be held on September 8th from 4pm-8pm at The Maverik Center in West Valley.
Admission is free with a lot of fun entertainment for the whole family. All of the booths and entertainment are either donated or given at a reduced cost so that more money is given back to the schools. 100% of all proceeds go to Hillsdale and Stansbury Elementary Schools.
Last year Kenworth raised $9,400 to directly help the schools with their afterschool programs. Because of the cuts made at Stansbury, Kenworth hopes to raise $15,000 this year.