Santa’s workload will be a little lighter again this year, thanks to sixth through eight grade students and staff at Hickory Creek Middle School. Their hard work, along with generous donations from District 157-C families, will grant the wishes of truly needy children.
Hickory Creek sixth grade teacher Renee’ Grady coordinates the annual effort. The program answers letters that needy children have written to Santa and encourages them to grant the children’s wishes, with a price limit set for each gift. Hickory Creek students participate annually in conjunction with District 157-C’s Character Counts character education program. Many Frankfort families overwhelmingly respond to the call, granting the wishes of students who write letters to Santa.
Pre-kindergarten through fourth grade children from the Cesar E. Chavez Multicultural Academic Center in Chicago will be the recipients of Hickory Creek’s efforts. As the 600 gifts were collected, students wrapped them in holiday paper and wrote a letter back to each child as Santa’s helpers. Students loaded the packages onto a large truck that the Hickory Creek custodial staff drove to the Chavez School just in time for the holidays.
At the December District 157-C Board of Education meeting, Hickory Creek Principal Dr. Kevin Suchinski stated, “This program gives our students the experience of paying it forward. I want to publicly recognize Mrs. Grady who started the program and coordinates it every year. She and our students, staff and families do a phenomenal job with this.”