Friday, December 14, 2012
By ABBY SLANKER
Hilltop Elementary School students shopped until they dropped during the school’s annual PTO-sponsored Santa’s Workshop Dec. 6-7.
The makeshift store was set up in the school’s library by parent volunteers and is designed to be a safe, child-centered environment where children can learn how to budget and spend wisely, while they also experience ‘the gift of giving.’
Prior to Santa’s Workshop, the students took home a form which allowed them and their parents to make a list of the people they wanted to buy for and create a budget for their each of their purchases.
Gifts available for purchase included toys, a variety of holiday items, jewelry, ornaments, tools, Canfield Cardinals merchandise, baby items and clothing. Several items were also available for students’ pets, including dog and cat toys, dog biscuits pet and holiday-wear. All items are reasonably priced from 25 cents to $5.50.
“This event would not be possible without our parent elves, who work very hard to make Santa’s Workshop a success and fun for the students,” said Cathy Mowry, Hilltop Elementary School principal.
After the children made their purchases for everyone on their lists, they went to the wrapping table where several PTO volunteers wrapped and labeled the gifts for the children to take home.
Several volunteer members of the PTO shop year-round for items for Santa’s Workshop, which gives the students the chance to pick out their own inexpensive, high-quality gifts for family and friends. A variety of items are purchased, with something for everyone on the students’ lists.
The year-round shopping process, which focuses on buying items at deeply discounted prices, was started five years ago to be able provide the students nice gifts as an alternative to ordering all the items from one company.
Dawn Tomko and Michelle Schrock served as co-chairpersons of this year’s Santa’s Workshop. Dozens of volunteers were involved, performing such jobs as buying the items, organizing and pricing the items, setting up the workshop, helping the children shop, wrapping the children’s gifts and cleaning up after the workshop was over.
So no students would be excluded from the shopping experience, the PTO donated Santa Dollars to any student who would not be able shop due to their economic means.