The year is 1884. The 8-hour workday is first proclaimed. The Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument are completed. Susan B Anthony addresses the US House arguing for an amendment of the constitution giving women the right to vote. And that September, 130 years ago, Sunnyside Elementary School opened its doors. It was a one room school with one teacher. It was located on donated land at the northeast corner of Sunnyside Road and Happy Hallow Lane (now 122nd Ave).
12 years later, in 1896, a second teacher was added to teach the older students. By 1920 a play shed was added with donated materials and built by volunteers. In the 1930’s electricity came to the area, along with a furnace and restrooms with indoor plumbing.
In 1944, while many dads were off at war, the moms of the Sunnyside neighborhood joined to start a hot lunch program. They canned, cooked and served the food. They also did all of the fundraising required to finance the volunteer program. On December 12, 1944, the Sunnyside PTA was organized and formed. This year we celebrate our 70th year of service to the students, staff and community of Sunnyside.
In 1949, the school was moved to the present location on the west side of Hubbard Lane (now 132nd Ave). On January 9, 1952, the school was gutted by fire. Classes were held next door in the Grange Hall for two months, until March of 1952 saw the completion of the remodel to the main building. The “A” wing with a gym was completed within the next four years, and the “B” wing with nine classrooms was completed over phases between 1960 and 1968. 1962 saw the first annual Family Fun Night carnival, which means this year marks the 53rd year the Sunnyside PTA will be sponsoring this community event. In 1979 the “C” wing was built, which houses the office, library, storage rooms and four classrooms. And within the next 10 year after this a handful more classrooms were added to the “C” wing.
We have gone from a single teacher classroom school in 1884, to a staff of over 40 in 2016. The growth and change continues even while some things remain the same. As always, we have strong community involvement, excellent teachers, and outstanding students in our school. Your PTA will continue to commit to work hard to maintain our excellence in providing for Sunnyside Elementary as we have for the last 70 years.