Cataline students embrace 12 days of Christmas giving

Cataline students Elsie Scott, Avaline Ostrom and Daxton Sauna-Czerniak drop off presents at the Child Development Centre in Williams Lake earlier this month. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cataline students Elsie Scott, Avaline Ostrom and Daxton Sauna-Czerniak drop off presents at the Child Development Centre in Williams Lake earlier this month. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake TribuneGreg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune
Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake TribuneGreg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune
Cataline Elementary School students from Rya Enns’ kindergarten and Nicole Ulrich’s Grade 1 classes drop off a bus load of toys at the Child Development Centre Monday morning as they made their way around town to various organizations sharing Christmas cheer through carolling. Several classes at the school took part in a 12 Days of Giving food and toy drive, with items being dropped off this week to various organizations within the city. Here, students Mika Nelson (left), Marcus James and Rukus Valentino (back) carry their gifts off the school bus to be dropped off. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cataline Elementary School students from Rya Enns’ kindergarten and Nicole Ulrich’s Grade 1 classes drop off a bus load of toys at the Child Development Centre Monday morning as they made their way around town to various organizations sharing Christmas cheer through carolling. Several classes at the school took part in a 12 Days of Giving food and toy drive, with items being dropped off this week to various organizations within the city. Here, students Mika Nelson (left), Marcus James and Rukus Valentino (back) carry their gifts off the school bus to be dropped off. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake TribuneGreg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune
Cataline teacher Rya Enns carries bags full of toys and gifts into the Child Development Centre. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cataline teacher Rya Enns carries bags full of toys and gifts into the Child Development Centre. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Riley Weetman, Morgyn Sache and Jack Bourdon carry toys. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Riley Weetman, Morgyn Sache and Jack Bourdon carry toys. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cataline students sing carols outside the Child Development Centre as part of the school’s 12 Days of Christmas Giving. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cataline students sing carols outside the Child Development Centre as part of the school’s 12 Days of Christmas Giving. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
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Students at Cataline elementary have been playing the role of Santa’s little helpers this month through a 12 Days of Christmas Giving initiative at the school.

Spurred on by kindergarten teacher Rya Enns and her class, students have been busy delivering toys, food, letters, artwork, gift baskets and performing songs through Christmas carolling to various organizations, charities and associations throughout the city.

“We just put it out there for December,” Enns said. “Let’s do something really nice for other people this Christmas, and the kids were super excited, the response from the parents was phenomenal and the entire Cataline community bought in.”

Once word got out of the class’s initiative, other classes at the school jumped on board to pitch in.

On Monday, Dec. 13, students travelled around town on a school bus dropping off Christmas goodies and performing at various locations including the Child Development Centre, the School District 27 board office, the Williams Lake RCMP detachment, the Cariboo Memorial Hospital, the Salvation Army and the Williams Lake Fire Department station.

READ MORE: A cautious return to in-school learning

More than 200 toys were dropped off at the Child Development Centre, and bags upon bags of food were delivered to the Salvation Army’s food bank — a cumulative effort between all of the primary classes at the school. Intermediate classes pitched in by writing Christmas letters to seniors, which were dropped off Wednesday, Dec. 16 at the Williams Lake Seniors Village when primary classes walked over to the facility to sing for residents.

Enns’ kindergarten students also wrote heartfelt letters to Dr. Bonnie Henry to thank her for keeping them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Her office was really excited about that, and so were the RCMP and firemen when we dropped all those letters and art off,” Enns said.

Four gift baskets were also put together and were delivered to residents in Williams Lake.

“Two students at the high school didn’t have money and wanted to buy their mom gifts, so we put together two big baskets and they were given to the kids,” Enns said.

“Then we heard about a woman at the hospital going through cancer treatment and has a broken femur. Another person is in their 20s and having a rough year, so we did a basket for them, as well.”

Through it all, Enns said the young students were able to better develop an understanding and empathy for those less fortunate — a concept that was introduced and explored to many for the first time.



greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

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