Annual Block Party in Odessa Says Goodbye to Summer Break - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Annual Block Party in Odessa Says Goodbye to Summer Break

by Justin Kree
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- While most kids look forward to the end of the school year, Mrs. Ethel McDaniel looks forward to the end of the summer.

Norfolk Court in Odessa was blocked off and together neighbors celebrate the start of another school year.

McDaniel has been teaching in Odessa for 16 years. 13 years ago, an idea came to her to have a back to school block party. Neighbors from multiple streets in the area came to say goodbye to summer break.

"I just made this up. I got with the ladies on the block and we decided to do this, we just always wanted to do this. Each year, it's getting bigger and bigger," McDaniel said.

Three inflatable bounce-houses and food for everyone to share. The Odessa Fire Department showing off the firetrucks and even lights to ensure the party can go long into the night. A evening filled with laughter and games.

"It's amazing to see the kids. Especially when you give out gift cards and prizes when they win a game. It's just amazing to see the smile on these kids faces out here," McDaniel said.

Ethel's husband, Leroy McDaniel, says she can't wait for the last day of school in June. That's when the planning starts for the final weekend of summer break.

"This day is really exciting. I think my wife has been looking forward to it ever since school's been out. It's exciting to her and the kids look forward to it, Leroy McDaniel said.

A positive message to stop bullying was put on by some of the church group kids at the party. A yearly event that Ethel says will go for years to come.

"Even when I retire, I'm not going to stop. I'm not going to stop," McDaniel said.

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