Perkins School PTA ran it’s annual, non-profit Holiday Shoppe for students differently this year and it proved to be very successful.
In recent years, it has been held in the school for a week in December and classes, accompanied by their teachers, took turns visiting it and purchasing all kinds of very inexpensive holiday gift items for family members. Gift wrapping the items, at no charge, was also available.
This year, it was in the old gymnasium December 12th from 5PM to 8PM. Perkins students and siblings attended with parents.
At the same time, six different 30-minute Christmas videos were being shown in the cafeteria during the three-hour event. Popcorn bags, water and juice were served during the movies.
Mandy Crowder, a Perkins school secretary and teacher assistant, said having two places to go allowed some parents the opportunity for one child to shop privately for gifts while another sibling was in the cafeteria with another parent.
“Because it was held at night, there were a lot of students here with parents and everyone seemed to really enjoy it,’’ said Crowder. “There were a lot of positive comments.”
PTA President Katie Coons said she was very pleased with how well the event went.
“We had about 125 students attend and we did feel like it was more successful than doing the week at school. It saves volunteers time, it has parents involved in choosing gifts and also less disruption in the school day,” she said.
She said several students volunteers from Newark Middle School and the high school helped in all kinds of ways, as did other PTA members and PTA officers Kelly Arbogast (treasurer), Kelley School physical education teacher Ashley Stoughton (vice president) and Perkins Instructional Coach Katy Barker (secretary).
Parents were also able to fill out online Family Engagement surveys on the school district website at the event.
Perkins Principal Sue Achille was delighted with the success of the event.
“The Holiday Shoppe is a special opportunity for the kids to purchase affordable items for their family members during the holiday season each year. The non-profit event that was combined with a movie night this year, made it a really nice family experience.”