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posted: Tue, Jan 10th, 2017

The true spirit of the season

First-graders in Dana Zagame's class know that the holiday season is all about the joy of giving. The students created holiday cards and wrapped donated books to give to Project KIND, a Rockaway-based organization that provides food, clothing, and other necessities to people in need. Mrs. Zagame made the activity the focal point of a holiday giving party. Students donned elven hats and took on the roles of kindness elves as they went about their craft work.

"As a teacher, I think it's essential to demonstrate the importance of giving during the holiday season," Mrs. Zagame said. "Many families are not fortunate enough to have what most of us in Mount Olive have. We wanted the students to know that the holidays are not all about what they get, but how they can help others."

Nothing brings home the power of giving more than seeing the faces of those you help. The first-graders witnessed it themselves through videos posted on the Project KIND Facebook page that showed volunteers handing out the donated cards and books. 

"The kids loved actually seeing their cards and books being delivered to people," said Mrs. Zagame. "It really showed that they made a difference."

 The Project KIND activity was the idea of room parent Heather Schroeder. A physical therapist who works with students in the Newark Public School System, Ms. Schroeder learned about the organization from a colleague. She did further research and contacted the founder of Project KIND before bringing the idea to Mrs. Zagame.

Ms. Schroeder also bought the card stock, stickers, and glitter for the students' cards and personally delivered all the donated items to Project KIND.

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