Santa, cookies and giving wrap up holiday season

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 25, 2013

 Six-year-old Alianna Vue, a first-grade student, takes a moment with Santa Claus during Crothers Elementary School’s “Cookies With Santa” Dec. 13 in Warren. Local schools celebrate the holiday season in many ways.

Six-year-old Alianna Vue, a first-grade student, takes a moment with Santa Claus during Crothers Elementary School’s “Cookies With Santa” Dec. 13 in Warren. Local schools celebrate the holiday season in many ways.

Photo by Donna Agusti

WARREN — From sitting on Santa’s lap to volunteering time for those less fortunate, local school children decked the halls various ways to celebrate the Christmas season.

For the past several years, the Crothers Elementary Parent Teacher Club has invited the school’s families in for the annual “Cookies With Santa.” This year’s Dec. 13 event was a sweet success. Crothers is part of Center Line Public Schools.

One hallway looked like Santa’s toyshop with children busily making crafts on tabletops. Inside the gym, the man in the red suit checked off wish lists as students waited in line to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas as parents captured the moment in pictures. Afterward, playful children nibbled on cookies.

Families filled the school rather quickly.

“It’s another big hit,” Crothers Principal Janis Byrn said. “It’s turned into quite the family affair.”

“I’m having a blast,” CLPS Board of Education President Darrell Vickers said. “This is a good turnout for this.”

Another highlight for the evening was the craft store a group of students set up as an economics project they worked on in class. Students in Genevieve Gelle and Jackie Wharfield’s fifth-grade classes and Nicole Davis’ split fourth- and fifth-grade class made their own holiday-themed decorations to sell.

The project began when the students borrowed $500 from the “bank,” which in this case was Byrn. The students worked in groups, creating their own companies so there were six companies per class. Davis said the project was designed to teach the students about supply and demand, products, consumers and producers.

“Our goal is to make back our $500 so we can pay our money back,” Davis said.

The students took pride in the polar bear frames, snowmen door hangers and many projects they created. Owning their own company was a hit for the budding CEOs.

“We learned how to work with our classmates and with each other. We’re also learning to sell at the same time. I liked working with my classmates. I like school,” fifth-grader Breanna Callebs said. “My favorite subject is economics, social studies and science.”

“I liked working with my group,” fifth-grader Mahailey Smith said.

The spirit of the season shone on the Fitzgerald High School National Honor Society as students from the organization donated their time at the Salvation Army, located on Mound Road, between Nine and 10 Mile roads.

During the week of Dec. 9, the students went to the shelter after school to sort toys and food, wrap presents and prepare for their distribution. They continued that the following week, and from Dec. 19-20, they distributed the items to families who came to the shelter seeking donations.

As a group, the students volunteered at least 250 hours on the project. The NHS students have been volunteering at the nonprofit orgnization for several years.

“The students love this project and assisting with the project,” said FHS business/marketing teacher and NHS advisor Ken Krause. “They gain the insight of what it takes to prepare for this huge undertaking of helping so many families.

“The best part is assisting the families pick the gifts for their families … the smiles, the tears, the ‘bless you’s’ and the ‘Merry Christmases’ that go along with being part of this community service project,” Krause said. “All students help with this need.”

On Dec. 17, the Warren Mott High School National Honor Society hosted a military family dinner. The student body invited those who are currently serving or have served in the military and their families to enjoy a full meal. Attendees also enjoyed entertainment and a slideshow presentation. Warren Mott is part of Warren Consolidated Schools.

On Dec. 13, staff and students at the new Macomb Montessori Academy in Warren got into the spirit of the season with the Holly Jolly Holiday Bash.

“The event was really fun,” Marketing & Communications Coordinator Maria Valladares said. “We had 40 families attend.  There was a dinner, kids did holiday ornament crafts and families were able to get their pictures taken with Santa. One little girl seemed to take a liking to Santa and kept making crafts and bringing them to him as gifts.”