Even with temperatures hovering between 70 and 80 degrees, kids on Key Biscayne will be skating their way around an ice rink as part of K-8 Center Winterfest activities Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., adding a northern feel to sunny South Florida.

The annual festival of fun is made possible by the PTA and administrators with the help of the entire community, Winterfest Chair and PTA President Kelly Lambert said.

It’s an opportunity for young and old to come together to have a good time while raising money to enhance their educational environment. Last year, the event raised over $30,000.

This year Winterfest will be filled with more fun things to do than ever before, with the biggest addition being the inclusion of a cold weather activity on the Key. “Oh yes, the skating rink, that’s the most exciting new thing,” Lambert said. “We’re transforming our PE shelter into a winter wonderland. It’s super cool. Our kids grow up with soccer, so it’s really going to be exciting for the kids to get a chance to do something different this year.” 

Lambert said plenty more family-oriented activities are offered, including an obstacle course, bounce houses, bungee stations and drone tent. “They inflate this tent and the kids lay down and fly drones inside it….and a bunch of other stuff too,” she said.

“We have carnival games that are put on by kids in different grade levels, and of course we have food and face painting, a DJ…it’s a cool deal.”

Lambert was quick to point out that Winterfest couldn’t happen without cooperation and support the PTA receives from K-8 Principal Silvia Tarafa and her entire staff.  Elementary School Vice Principal Luis Bonachea said the relationship between academics and the parents is paramount.

“As a school, the school and parents have to have a positive relationship,” Bonahea said. “We can’t do it without each other. I think what the PTA does is help bring the school and parents together so we have a common goal.

And the assistant principal thinks the goal of a good time is a great place start. “Everybody loves party,” he said. “It’s a time where the staff, the kids and parents can have a fun time outside of a normal day. This is a good time where everybody as a school family can have fun.”

This year, the PTA hopes to at least equal last year’s financial total. It’s a goal Lambert said is possible thanks to the caring residents of Key Biscayne.  “I love living here,” she said. “We ask the parents to help support us, and we are a very generous community.”

But the fun in fundraiser is the major goal for Winterfest. “I would say it’s got two main points –  it’s a fundraiser for the school, but I think of it as a spirit-raiser, too,” Lambert said. “It’s important for the kids to think of school as not only a place to learn but a happy place where you have fun with your friends and you see your teachers and administrators having fun. School is so intense these days, there’s so much pressure on teachers, students and administrators, that it’s that much more important to have some fun.”

Winterfest is open to the public and admission is free. There are $20 wristbands on sale for access to all activities, and a Playstation 4 and GoPro 5 will be given away by raffle.

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