More than 1,100 people came together to show support for their schools and community during the first Smithfield-Selma Strong Community Day April 22 at Smithfield-Selma High School.
The event was a project of the seven Smithfield-Selma area schools: Selma Elementary, South Smithfield Elementary, West Smithfield Elementary, Wilson’s Mills Elementary, Selma Middle, Smithfield Middle and Smithfield-Selma High.
“This is all about the spirit of camaraderie,” said Carson Cataliotti, event organizer and an assistant principal intern at West Smithfield Elementary. “It’s great to see so many faces out here united in celebrating the Smithfield-Selma area.”
The mantra “Smithfield-Selma Strong,” or “SSStrong,” recently became a movement in the community to show support for the area schools.
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Cataliotti, the schools’ principals and volunteers began organizing the event in January.
“It’s nice to see all of our hard work planning this event come to fruition,” Cataliotti said. “We get to see kids walking around with ice cream cones or having their faces painted, all for free. It’s nice to see our families be able to enjoy themselves.”
Each of the area schools had a booth on the high school’s football field. First responders, churches, local businesses and community groups also had booths.
Among the free activities were face painting, hayrides, a photo booth, cornhole and life-size Jenga and Connect Four games. Groups of students from each school gave musical performances throughout the day.
“There are a lot of people here that are enjoying quality family time, and it’s all for free,” said Valeria Rivas Hernandez, a fifth-grade student at South Smithfield Elementary School. “Everyone is enjoying themselves.”
Cataliotti said the schools hope to make Smithfield-Selma Strong Community Day an annual event.