Faculty and staff create “Santa’s Workshop” at JD George Elementary School


VERONA – The faculty and staff at JD George Elementary School, 5647 East Main St., have come together to make sure every student has the opportunity to give this holiday season.

Faculty member Eileen Bleaking led the effort to put together at least one article for each of their nearly 400 students.

Once the idea was presented, the faculty and staff showed overwhelming support, donating over 700 items for students to choose from.

“It was wonderful to see them choose this special gift for someone,” said Bleaking. “It’s wonderful that every student has the opportunity to experience the joy of giving this season.

Due to the amount of donations, many teachers and staff stayed late Friday night to set up the workshop, complete with rows of jewelry, candles, books, scarves, housewares and other items.

“It brought the faculty together in such a meaningful way,” said Rachel Pace, faculty member. “Everyone enjoyed working together to create this event for our students. We are grateful to our colleagues for all their help, and to our manager (Gary Bissailllon) for providing snacks as we all worked to make this happen.

On Monday, each student’s eyes lit up when it was their turn to enter the decorated gymnasium and select their special item, organizers said.

With their decision made, the students took their items to the gift-wrapping station, where the students of the VVS National Honor Society carefully wrapped each gift.

“You can see the pride in their eyes as they show off the perfect gift they have found for their loved one,” Bleaking added. “The happiness they emit when they leave our workshop with a beautiful gift is inspiring. We hope to make it an annual tradition so that every JD George child can experience the magic of giving. “


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