Thomasville families were invited to MacIntyre Park Auditorium to fulfill a two-fold purpose: to showcase the academic, civic, and artistic talents of Scholars Academy students and to raise funds for the wide array of academic programs and competitions at which Scholars Academy students annually achieve.
Children peered through the doors of the auditorium lobby to see the main attraction on the stage flanked in decorations and red velvet curtains. While waiting for their chance to tell Santa their Christmas wishes, children spent time at activity stations that were created and managed by students.
Children were assisted in writing letters to Santa by student volunteers and English teacher, Dawn Hunnewell. Stencil-print Christmas tree ornaments were crafted with the help of art teacher Ashley Ivey-Jackson and her group of art students. Key Club and Builders Club members and their teacher sponsor, Gina Bennett, offered a coloring station for the youngest of visitors. Student Allison Wheeler created a “Reindeer Food” mixing station with clever ingredients such as: glitter, breadcrumbs, potato chips, raisins, oats, and flying powder (sugar).
Students from the Casey Dyksterhouse’s drama department played the part of reindeers, winter princesses, and elves while Alison Bundrick’s dance students entranced the young children with their beautiful tutus and dancing.
Parents were invited to the Multipurpose Room to see a display of the nearly 220 projects entered into the Thomasville City Schools Science and Engineering Fair. Projects had been judged the previous day, so 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons revealed who will advance to the region fair in Tifton.
Scholars Boosters parent organization hosted a bake sale with a variety of homemade cakes.
“There’s something about an old-fashioned bake sale that highlights the efforts of families who support their children’s educational experience,” said Christa Carter, Scholars Academy parent.
When the time arrived for a child to enter the auditorium, the first stop was the “Story Time” area where children sat on quilts and listened as Mrs. Claus rocked in a chair and read Christmas favorites to the children.
As the children approached the stage, Christmas music wafting from the balcony was provided by Dr. Sally Hernandez and her string orchestra classes. Groups ranging from middle school to seniors continuously played traditional hymns and classical Christmas pieces.
Children climbed a small set of stairs to finally reach Santa. Christmas wishes were shared and jolly laughs were heard as the children smiled for the quintessential ‘photo on Santa’s lap.’ Student volunteers were Santa’s little helpers and gave each child a candy cane.
Even though the event was planned to entertain the Thomasville community, it was evident that the organizers of the event benefitted equally.
“I saw the students who volunteered having as much fun as the kids who came to see Santa. It’s important for the students to be involved in our fund-raising events,” said Scholars Academy Director Dr. Dale Graham.