Holiday cheer and the spirit of caring were shared by Dunkirk elementary students with the residents of St. Vincent's Home on Washington Avenue on Friday morning.
Eighteen first-graders from Dunkirk School 4 took this month's theme of caring outside the school walls, and arrived with bells on.
Teacher Annette Morgan and student teacher Jeff Parker brought the children over to St. Vincent's Home to share holiday cheer with the residents. They brought a decorative wooden tree along, which was filled with notes and cards. Morgan's students read cards to the residents and sang holiday songs.
Spirit of caring
"We're leaving them with a gift to show the character trait of caring, this month's theme," Morgan said.
After singing and reading, the students sat with residents and jingled bells each wore around their necks before heading back to the school.
School 3 students followed later in the morning with holiday songs for residents.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
School 4 first-graders recently shared holiday cheer with residents of St. Vincent’s Home. Left to right, front row: Keishliann Soto, Lizzette Tamayac-Estrada, Ziarra Pagan, Alexis Torres, Donovan Thompson, Adriana Falco, Hector Tirado, Desire Montes; second row: Hazel Bache, Brandon Kawski, Damien Santiago, Michael Hanlon, Victor Greek; back row: Avery Lanning, Toni Rodriguez, Matthew Helwig, Alexis Wilson, Theodore Roberts. In the back are Jeff Parker and Annette Morgan.
Second-graders were accompanied by teachers Nancy Ringler, Tammy Notarnicola, Ann Clark and Deborah LaMattina.
Technical difficulties didn't halt the merriment. A CD with music to which the children planned to sing along failed to make its way to the home along with the group, but the children managed to sing without the music at the direction of their teachers.
"Boy, did they show caring," Notarnicola said, and explained the children's families donated toiletries, crosswords, books, magazines and other items to residents in the spirit of the caring theme.
Ringler explained the children read "The Sunshine Home" before their visit, which is a story about a boy who visits his grandmother "in a home very much like St. Vincent's."
The entire Dunkirk school district follows monthly themes of character traits. In September, responsibility was highlighted; in October, respect. Citizenship was November's theme, and when students return to school in January, trustworthiness will be the month's theme. February is about courage, March is duty, April focuses on work ethic, May on fairness and June will center on honesty.