Children entertained a delighted group with a few carols, then read Christmas stories to them. Multiple stories were available for the students to choose from.
“Just to kind of bring some Christmas cheer to them,” teacher Shannon Pike said.
Students took the opportunity to wear Christmas-themed clothes, Santa hats and reindeer antlers during their visit.
The trip was a new spin on the traditional in-class gift exchange. Instead of trading gifts with each other, students brought presents to the residents.
Pike said the teachers had asked the center what residents would like to receive. Lists of possible items were sent home with the students. Students brought in two plastic storage bins full of crosswords puzzles, books, games and other items.
Second-grade teachers Summer Smith, Pike, Kelly Fox and Brooke Plank partnered with Park View music teacher Candice Atha to prepare for the event.
“We thought about something different we could do that would be more meaningful for the kids besides just exchanging gifts in the classroom,” Pike said.
Pike said this was the first time Park View had such a gift exchange. She hopes it will become an annual event.
All second-grade students participated and created a 65-member student choir. Many of the student practices were separated by class with all of the classes coming together for practice closer to the event.
Planning for the event began when the students returned from Thanksgiving break. Pike said the teachers wanted to have the students bring Christmas cheer to those in assisted living. Fox chose Morningside as the location.
Pike said she hoped the activity would give students a greater understanding of Christmas as an opportunity to give.
She said she also hoped “they can see the joy of sharing with other people.”
Plank said the event gave students an opportunity to see how they could make Christmas more cheerful, even for people who are not their age.