(From left) Pre-kindergarten students Sundis Ali Mahamoud, Ekhlas Sobeh, teacher Tammy Lychuk, Maria Ahmad, Benji Joubert-Dodge and Jace Wood hand-deliver a holiday greeting card to a community resident. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer elementary school students spread joy during Christmas with simple project

As the popular holiday song says, “Christmas is a feeling filling the air.”

Red Deer’s Fairview Elementary School helps its students capture the feeling in their hearts.

The 222 students made Christmas and holiday season greeting cards, just like they do every year. The students hand delivered the cards in the neighbourhood this week.

The project, similar to efforts in many local schools, involves drawing and getting creative, but it’s about so much more, said principal Kim Walker.

“When you help someone, you get a sense in your heart of what that feels like, and that’s what I want our youngest hearts to feel,” she said.

Pupils learn about the importance of giving and that Christmas is more than just getting presents and sampling sweet treats.

Students also learn to spread some joy and cheer in the community and learn that they’re important, their voices matter, and they can make a difference in someone’s life, she said.

They remember that lesson as they grow older, which helps them become strong community leaders, said the principal.

“When you do see someone, they light up, because it’s a kindergarten or Grade 5 student, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ and handing them a card.

“Quite often, I get several emails about it saying ‘this was a lovely surprise,’” Walker said.

The experience especially buoys retired seniors, or those in the community who feel isolated during the holiday season.

The experience also helps students feel connected to the community where they live, and that’s important, because we live such a fast paced life, said the principal.

“They like to ask questions, like ‘why are we doing this?’ Kids are going to ask you why, and it’s one more opportunity to be connected to the small community.”


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(From left) Pre-kindergarten students at Fairview Elementary School Ekhlas Sobeh, teacher Tammy Lychuk, Jace Wood walk in the school neighbourhood to a nearby home to hand-deliver a holiday card. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

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