BRE Adopted families for the holidays
By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Jenna DiLoreto
Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) school generously adopted 19 families this holiday season. Gifts included toys, books and clothing for children, and additional gifts and gift cards for parents flowed into BRE classrooms during December. Each classroom, kindergarten through fourth grade adopted one family, and the fifth grade collectively adopted another. In addition, teachers and staff adopted additional families. BRE collaborated with Catholic Charities in Castle Rock, an organization that serve all of Douglas County.
Second grade students culminated their economics unit with this tradition. Students learned about and practiced budgeting, evaluating wants versus needs, and philanthropy. Students shopped in ads and catalogues, made lists, and then earned money prior to an actual shopping trip to purchase gifts for the families they adopted.
Parents volunteered to help students wrap each gift. When Andrea Gale’s kindergarten class finished the monumental task of wrapping all the gifts, they shared a heartfelt conversation about how it felt to help others. Many students said their hearts “felt good” to know that they were a part of bringing Christmas cheer and presents to other kids like them in the community.
BRE technology guru Monica Harmon headed up the school-wide service project. Harmon, along with many others, appreciated the lessons and experience this tradition afforded the students at BRE. “The adopt-a-family program is a great way for our students to give back to our community.” Speaking of her own boys now nearly grown, Harmon reflected on their experience. “They participated in adopt-a-family and I felt it was a valuable way for them to learn about the importance of helping others where they live. I wanted the tradition of BRE students giving to others to continue. We are fortunate to live in such a giving community.”