Macomb Intermediate Schools District Superintendent Michael DeVault joins in song with the Lincoln High School choir Dec. 14 at the MISD’s annual legislative breakfast.

Macomb Intermediate Schools District Superintendent Michael DeVault joins in song with the Lincoln High School choir Dec. 14 at the MISD’s annual legislative breakfast.

Photo provided by Van Dyke Public Schools

Local students, schools deliver season’s greetings

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 20, 2018


WARREN/CENTER LINE — Due to the generosity of students and teachers at local schools spreading cheer, many families enjoyed a happier holiday season.

From collecting canned goods to fulfilling wish lists — and everything in between — students and staff pulled out their inner Santas to provide a Merry Christmas for others dealing with job loss, financial hardships and illness this season.

In Warren Consolidated Schools, educators coordinated their efforts for the district’s annual Adopt-A-Family program for WCS families who could use a little extra this year. WCS staff members “adopted” 33 families to purchase clothes, boots, coats, toys, necessities and more that they otherwise would have gone without.

In Warren Woods Public Schools, clothing, toys and gift cards were collected at each school building for WWPS families in need. In addition, the district’s Early Childhood Center assisted programs with the Salvation Army, and Enterprise High School collected canned foods for in-district families.

The giving continued in Van Dyke Public Schools. Students at Lincoln High School — under the direction of student council advisors John McCabe and Patrick Armstrong — carried on with a district tradition. On Dec. 19, they held their sixth annual Christmas party by inviting in local families who might not have had much of a Christmas this year. School social workers referred the families who enjoyed the party, made arts and crafts, and received gifts and donations that came from district employees.

“The event has always been a big success,” VDPS Superintendent Piper Bognar said.  

Music also made spirits bright. On Dec. 14, the LHS choir, directed by Max Wagner, performed at the Macomb Intermediate School District’s annual legislative breakfast. The choir students also took time time with performances at Bovenschen School and at the new Meijer store, both located in Warren. At various LHS and Lincoln Middle School band concerts, the students collected canned food as the admission price as a way to provide meals for others.

The VDPS Success Academy students didn’t want others to be hungry this Christmas, so they held a canned food drive for a local church pantry. Success Academy is an online program — under Director Jennifer Iloff — in which students in grades 7-12 earn school credits in a more flexible school setting.

The Success Academy students also collected mittens, gloves and hats to donate to local elementary students. They, too, made fleece tie pillows and Santa Buckets, which are small hand-painted buckets filled with treats. At press time, the students were still deciding if they should donate the items to a senior home, hospital or school.  

The Carlson Elementary Leadership Council didn’t forget about the brave members of the U.S. armed forces. The students wrote letters to soldiers to be mailed to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Center Line Public Schools also had a festive holiday season, with giving going on at every school building. Each school became a hub for accepting food, monetary donations, personal hygiene items, gift cards, mittens and more to benefit families within CLPS.

Wolfe Middle School students created holiday cards to give to local neighbors. The school also served as a Toys for Tots drop-off site. Crothers Elementary School participated in a project called Kids Helping Troops, with the goal of collecting and shipping various items in stockings for men and women in the military.

The Warren Rotary Club, the Warren/Sterling Heights Elks No. 2292 and Ascension St. John Hospital were among the local groups that reached out to help less fortunate CLPS families.

Students at Peck Elementary School also remembered their furry friends. They raised $200 by selling bracelets at the school to benefit the Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter in River Rouge. According to third-grade teacher Denise Flanigan, the students also collected dog and cat food, treats and toys, and at press time, they were planning to visit the shelter to sing Christmas carols to the animals.  

“We are really excited that our kids took the lead on this, and tried to make a situation better for some animals that have had it really rough,” Flanigan stated in an email.

Through the fundraising efforts of staff and of the United Auto Workers Local No. 412 in Warren, about 20 Westview Lower Elementary School families in the Fitzgerald Public Schools district also were cheered up.

Westview psychologist Jolene DuBay said the U.A.W. members reached out to the school at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year to give back to the community. Since that time, a partnership has formed. This holiday season, Local No. 412 provided food, grocery store gift cards, toys and clothing. Westview staff also made contributions.

DuBay emailed all the school staff to inquire about families who could use some assistance. From there, a plan was put into place to make sure the families were taken care of.

“The families are very thankful,” DuBay said. “It’s a tight-knit community. We want to help each other out.”