Annual party provides fun and presents for Adopted Schools


Adriana Valtinson, editor-in-chief

RSC hosted the annual Adopted Schools Christmas Party, inviting students from Telstar Elementary and Willow Brook Elementary, Friday, Dec. 10, in the Main Dining Hall.

Dr. Joanne Stafford, director of special services and student outreach, explained that the annual fete started 11 years ago when the Adopted Schools Program and the elementary schools decided to do something for disadvantaged students.

“The principles decided [the children] don’t have much and a party like this may be something they always remember because it makes them feel so special,” she said.

The party was planned and coordinated in part by Student Senate and XZIP, Xerox’s Community Involvement Program which helped to fund it by donating $3, 000 for the event. Randy Stafford, Systems Analyst, explained that this is Xerox’s ninth year to help fund the party and that they wanted to help a population of kids coming from [impoverished] homes.

Making the children feel special was a priority at the party. “We do this every year. [It’s] one of the most important events to help kids who might not have a Christmas. It’s a once in a lifetime deal for some of them,” Dr. Jeanie Webb, vice president for student affairs, said.

The event included crafts and gifts for the first graders, as well as a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. “It’s a very good experience. I’m very overwhelmed,” Jackie Vester, a first grade teacher at Willow Brook Elementary School said, adding, “This is the first time some of these kids will get an experience like this.”

Dr. Terry Britton commented that the party, which he said was attended by 132 children, always amazes him. “It’s a Christmas gift for them and for us.”

“This project is really rewarding because it helps our community and it’s in the holiday spirit,” Kirby Harzman, coordinator of student activities, said.

“If you just look at their faces, [you can see] they enjoy it,” Dr. Kent Lashley, associate vice president for student life, said. “I think it shows what [RSC] stands for; to be able to reach out and help the community.”

Stafford agreed, saying that it benefits the elementary school students, as well as RSC students to be able to reach out to the community. “It’s a win for everyone,” she said.

“This project is really rewarding because it helps our community and it’s in the holiday spirit,” Kirby Harzman, coordinator of student activities, said.

Webb said the credit for the party goes to the student body along with Student Senate and Xerox. “This is what Christmas is about—giving to others. And that’s what these students are about.”

 

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