Avon Elementary adopts families, rings bells | VailDaily.com

Avon Elementary adopts families, rings bells

Matthew Earle
Special to the Daily
Avon, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyAvon Elementary students put in volunteer hours as bell ringers for the Salvation Army this holiday season as part of a community service project.

AVON, Colorado ” As part of a community service project over the holidays, Avon Elementary students in Avon, Colorado gave back to the community by adopting families and ringing bells for The Salvation Army.

Four classrooms and the after-school Youth Foundation Program bought gifts for families in need. Each classroom started collecting gifts at the beginning of December for the families. The students worked as a team to wrap the gifts on their last day of school before winter break ” many students were seen making homemade wrapping paper with personal messages for the families.

Ms. Barcenas’s and Ms. Shellhaas’s fifth graders took a bus ride one day after school to The Salvation Army Holiday Cabin to select gifts for the families.

“We are using this as a learning opportunity. We don’t need to know who these families are or why they need help. We want the students to understand that whether they have a lot of money or a little money, generosity and giving back over the holidays is important,” said Ms. Barcenas, a fifth-grade teacher. “A little goes a long way and everyone once in their life will need a helping hand.”

The family that Mr. Pyle’s and Ms. Clemens’s third grade classrooms adopted came to the school to collect their gifts on Friday.

“It was heart-warming to see the students give the family the gifts and the emotional reaction of the father in the family,” said Monica Feagler, the school counselor at Avon Elementary. “This sort of project truly brings back the true meaning of Christmas ” generosity and helping others.”

Ringing bells for The Salvation Army has been a tradition at Avon Elementary for the past five years. More than 40 students and six teachers have been involved in giving back to the community during the holiday season by being bell ringers for the Salvation Army at Wal-Mart. The students have had fun thanking people for their generosity by singing holiday carols as they volunteer.

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