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Avon kindergarten adopts a family

Scott N. Miller
Preston Utley/Vail DailyFranco Lopez, 5 and Sophia Zuniga, 6 wrap presents for their adopted family Wednesday at Avon Elementary.
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AVON – Kindergarten kids often worry more about what Santa brings them than what he takes to others. Shelly McLeod’s class is a little different.

The kindergartners in McLeod’s class at Avon Elementary School are among four classrooms at the school participating in the local Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program. That program uses volunteers to provide clothes, toys, food and other holiday items to families that otherwise couldn’t afford to have Christmas.

“I’ve been doing it for the last two years here,” McLeod said.



But this year, McLeod’s first as a kindergarten teacher, is a little special. “What an opportunity, to give kids the gift of giving and to be able to give to families,” she said.

To help her students learn about giving, McLeod has been reading stories to the students, and talking to them about how they’d feel if their families couldn’t have much of a Christmas.



Letters were sent home to parents, and Wednesday afternoon McLeod’s classroom was busy wrapping blankets, a portable CD player, and at least one lightly, lovingly used Care Bears doll, among other gifts.

“It was on my backpack,” Jasper Ostrom said. “I know it would be a good present and girl might like it because I like it.”

Like other students in the class, Ostrom had a pretty good idea of what Adopt-a-Family is all about.



“Adopt-a-Family means people don’t have the right stuff, or not enough stuff, so we give them what they need,” she said.

“I brought blankets and gloves,” Anna Galvez added. “I’m doing good.”

James Moran was wrapping up a pair of gloves for a boy in the classroom’s adopted family. “It means we’re taking care of a family,” Moran said. “They don’t have things they need.”

The lessons in giving for the past several days have sunk in with a lot of kids, although different kids remembered different parts of the stories McLeod had read.

Rebecca Colona talked about a story in which a dog thought he was a reindeer. That might be a little beside the point, but Colona also seemed to have a good idea of the real job of adopting a family. She was able to bring in a ball and snow pants.

“If I have one ball, I could share one ball,” she said.

“It’s good,” Moran added. “It’s better to give gifts than to get them.”

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or smiller@vaildaily.com.

Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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