Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Santa comes early for about 200 elementary students
More than 200 elementary students were treated to an early holiday season recently in the sixth annual holiday party given by the Union County Early College (UCEC) Student Government Association (SGA).
Students from Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts and Walter Bickett Education Center were guests of more than 300 Union County Early College students earlier this month. They were first treated to a puppet show put on the UCEC students.
Then each elementary child was given a bag of goodies, including a present hand-picked for that student by the schoolâ€™s SGA. The event takes about a year of preparation. Each childâ€™s name is placed on the schoolâ€™s angel tree and then Early College students purchase gifts for the students with their own money.
More than 300 Early College students participate in some form or fashion. â€œItâ€™s part of our SGA community outreach and it gives our students the opportunity to give back,â€ said Early College principal Jane Wade. â€œMy students get excited about this. I think itâ€™s a really valuable experience. It gives them the opportunity to reach out and help these children.â€
â€œWe all enjoy doing this. It brings the whole school together for these kids,â€ said Courtney Owens, 17, an Early College senior and SGA president. â€œItâ€™s a traditional thing and everyone here enjoys seeing the kids opening their presents. We know many of these kids donâ€™t have a lot. One came up to me and told me he had never opened a present before.â€
Early College teacher Karen Pharr (the Early College SGA sponsor) and Early College guidance counselor Jeslyn McFadden coordinated the event. SGA students, with the assistance of the schoolâ€™s DIY (Do It Yourself) Club, decorated more than 200 bags in which presents and goodies were placed.
About 80 students came from WBEC, while about 120 kindergarteners came from Benton Heights. â€œThis is awesome,â€ said Walter Bickett Education Center director Fo Roldan. â€œMy students have been excited all week. We enjoy it a lot. For some, this will be their only Christmas.â€
Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe