The year is 1884, and 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. That September, over 130 years ago, Sunnyside Elementary School opened its doors. It was a one room school with one teacher 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 it was 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. That is over 70 years of service to the students, staff and community of Sunnyside.
Moving and Changes
In 1949, the school was moved to the present location on the west side of Hubbard Lane (now 132nd Ave). Sadly on January 9, 1952, the school was gutted by fire. The damage forced them to hold classes next door in the Grange Hall for two months. The remodeled main building was completed in March of 1952.
Family Fun Night
In 1962 the PTA sponsored the first annual Family Fun Night Carnival, and we have had this community event for over 50 years.
A, B, and C Wings
“A” wing with a gym was completed within the next four years, and “B” wing with nine classrooms was completed over phases between 1960 and 1968. In 1979 the “C” wing was built, which houses the office, library, storage rooms and four classrooms. Within the next 10 years after this, a handful more classrooms were added to “C” wing.
We have gone from a single teacher classroom school in 1884, to a staff of over 40 today. 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 work hard to support Sunnyside Elementary as we have for the last 70 years.
Photo Credit: Jason Volz and Frances Clark