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Taste Of Christmas At California Avenue Elementary
The students at California Avenue Elementary were treated to a few cookies and hot chocolate with an option for marshmallows if desired after meeting Santa earlier this month. Virginia Still/The News

The students at California Avenue Elementary got a treat earlier this month with an early visit from Santa, cookies, hot cocoa, and for the first time ever, presents for every student. The crisp morning air swirling about the campus had no effect on the youngsters that were enjoying the holiday festivities for a fun-filled day.

Principal Kathy Briggs explained that they try to bring in Santa each year to give the students a treat during the holiday season but this would be the very first year each student would receive gifts. Earlier this month she was approached by United States Army Sergeant First Class Nathan Flores regarding the opportunity to donate gifts to the students of California Avenue Elementary. One Church of Riverbank also contacted Briggs about donating approximately $3000 to the school to purchase gifts for the students. With the collaboration between the party’s donations it made it possible to ensure that each student received a gift from Santa that day.

“The students loved the gifts,” stated Briggs. “They were so excited about receiving gifts. The students were not aware of Santa visiting the campus and handing out gifts. This was a huge surprise.”

The PTA has sponsored the hot chocolate and cookies with Santa for the past five years. The parents also had marshmallows on the table to complete the hot chocolate experience. There were parent volunteers and a rosy cheeked Santa Claus that the students got pictures with as part of the festivities as well.

The best part of the day for Briggs was “seeing the faces of the students when they saw Santa and heard they would be receiving a gift.”

For the happy students at California Avenue Elementary they got a glimpse of Christmas early.

Each student at California Avenue Elementary received two gifts of their choice during holiday festivities a couple weeks ago at the school before the winter holiday break. Virginia Still/The News