Fourth graders take time to spread Christmas cheer to senior citizens

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With less than a week until Christmas, many school children are anxious to finish up their semester tests and begin their Christmas break. In just four days there will be all sorts of presents under the tree at home, and with about two weeks of vacation from classes, school children are more than a little excited during this time.

But for the fourth grade classes of Kathy Daugherty and Sharon Earls at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, this week was also a chance to spend some time with some county senior citizens and in the process learn the true meaning of the holiday.

The students put on a Christmas program on Tuesday afternoon at the Swiss Villa Nursing and Rehab Center, just across the street from their school.

“We want the kids to see that the real spirit of Christmas is in giving and spending time with others,” Kathy Daugherty said. “That’s why for the past few years we’ve been coming over for the past couple of years and spending some time. I think the kids really love it.”

The children sang traditional Christmas carols with the help of music teacher Kathy Williams playing the piano; and between songs individual and groups of students read Christmas poetry. All of the children were decked out in holiday wear, ranging from Santa hats to reindeer antlers to festive sweaters and outfits.

A large crowd of residents of Swiss Villa attended the program, and not only enjoyed the poetry, but many also sang along with the children during the carols.

The singing portion of the program concluded with the children singing “Silent Night”, and then inviting the residents to sing along for another verse. The residents really enjoyed participating with the children, and sang heartily through the popular carol.

At the conclusion of the program, each of the students presented a resident with a number of gifts, including a handmade Christmas ornament that the students’ made at school. The students also gave the residents cookies to enjoy; and also a Christmas card for each to display at their room.

Many of the children took time to talk with the residents, sharing Christmas wishes and other notions, and the residents also enjoyed their time chatting with the students.

“I really enjoyed getting to see the children,” one of the residents said as the students filed out to head back to the classroom. “It’s so special to see the children at Christmas time. That’s what I love — the children.”