"We're here to have some fun," said third-grader Allie Fernandez, 8. "A lot of times we do the Macarena."
The school has been hosting the family mixer since its opening nine years ago, and Principal Carla Walker said its always a good time.
"Every year we get a large turnout," she said. "It's a nice way to start the year."
The school's sixth-graders made an extra-strong appearance this year, as many of them came to help out with a bake sale and Sno-cone sale.
"The sale is basically to raise money for our trip to Catalina," said sixth-grader Rus Petrov, 11.
The class goes on an educational trip to the island every year.
Alongside the bake sale, the Parent-Teacher Assn. and the Valley View Educational Foundation hosted a barbecue with carne asada and tortillas for families who wanted to buy a hot meal. Food sold from the barbecue also raised money to be used for student activities and equipment, said foundation President Joanna Linkchorst.
As the event kicked off, more and more families arrived to partake in the festivities and began to fill up the playground.
"It's going well, all the families look forward to the family picnic," said PTA president Stephanie Jerdin. "It's a good way for people to meet and greet."
Students and parents alike seemed to enjoy the event equally as they mingled. "This is fun," said fourth-grader Jason Chan, 9. "I'm excited to eat."
ROBERT S. HONG covers public safety and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235.