December 13, 2012 in Washington Voices

Shop helps students find gifts for family

By The Spokesman-Review
Lisa Leinberger photo

PTA volunteer Stephanie Hayden helps students wrap presents for Christmas at East Farms STEAM Magnet School.
(Full-size photo)

Last week at East Farms STEAM Magnet School, Santa’s helpers wrapped presents while students wandered around the music room, picking out items and listening to Christmas music.

It was the annual Santa Shop at the school, presented by the East Farms Parent Teacher Association.

“We help the kids shop for their families,” said Stephanie Hayden of the PTA.

This is the shop’s second year at East Farms. Hayden said if some students can’t afford to buy a present, the PTA helps with that.

Teachers signed up for times to bring their classes to the shop, and students came in before and after school as well as during recess and lunch.

The items for sale were small – necklaces, rings, key rings, toys, manicure sets, fanny packs, calculators and balls that light up when you bounce them.

The shop wasn’t open for just students – the public was also invited to shop at the store. Volunteers help the students shop, wrap the gifts and ring up purchases.

While the PTA was selling gifts at the Santa Shop, they were also preparing for a family night – dinner with Santa Claus and the movie “Brave.”

Hayden said they didn’t pick a Christmas movie to show on purpose so everyone could enjoy it, even families who don’t celebrate Christmas.

The shop and the dinner are not fundraisers for the PTA. Hayden said the aim is for the students and their families to have fun.

“We try and do something to help out the families of the school,” she said.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email