santa visiting with students

Last week, the students at Myers Elementary School were invited to enjoy “Milk & Cookies with Santa” in their cafeteria. As part of the event, the children were gifted with numerous toys that were donated by members of Taylor School District and the community. 

The fun started when students were brought down to the cafeteria in waves that were broken down by grade level. When they arrived, volunteers from the district were waiting with cookies that were prepared by CB’s Cafe and milk. 

While they enjoyed their treats, Myers’ Principal Michelle Hodgkinson announced to the students that there was a surprise guest who brought gifts to pass out to each of them. That guest was the man himself; Santa Clause. 

“Seeing the kids light up when Santa walked out of the kitchen was a great experience for everyone involved,” said Michelle. “They definitely gave Santa the ‘welcome’ that you’d guess from a group of elementary students.” 

After Santa was introduced and he received hugs from students who couldn’t contain their excitement, gift bags were passed out that included two plush animals donated by the Taylor PetSmart as part of their annual Chance & Friends Holiday Philanthropic Collection.

Each year, PetSmart donates these gifts to local organizations such as children’s hospitals and schools. 

“The plush toys were a huge hit,” said Michelle. “The students didn’t stop smiling and playing with them after opening their bags. We cannot thank PetSmart enough for their generosity and willingness to support our students.” 

As the kids continued to enjoy their time with Santa, volunteers were working behind-the-scenes, delivering wrapped gifts for every student to take home and open. Those gifts were donated by many different members of the Taylor School District community as part of a toy drive organized by Parent and Community Liaison Bridget Jarvis. Altogether, the team raised more than 700 gifts to wrap and give to the students at Myers. 

“Seeing our entire community rally together to help make the holiday season more special for these students is what community is all about,” said Bridget. “We understand that the Myers community is one that can use a bit of support around the holiday season, and we received so much of it.”

After taking class photos with Santa, students returned to the classroom where they were greeted by therapy dogs who paid a visit to each classroom in the building. When students left for the day, they were each given two gifts that were wrapped by members from the Taylor School District staff and Board of Education. 

“Thank you to everyone who helped make this day a special one for our students at Myers,” said Bridget. “Without the support from our community, we would not have been able to pull off what we did.”