• Hazel Dell students display their gingerbread houses

Our staff, students, families and community members take care of one another every day, but the generosity of spirit is perhaps most evident throughout the district this time of year. This episode is about one school in particular and a few of the ways that the staff has been spreading holiday goodness and cheer.

Peals of laughter and joy rang throughout Hazel Dell Elementary on Wednesday. Building gingerbread houses before the break is a 30-year-plus tradition with the help of families and the PTA. In first grade, students practiced shapes, colors, angles and fine motor skills as they created elaborate structures.

The holiday spirit is unusually strong at Hazel Dell this year. Staff members are working extra hard to support others. On Dec. 11, they filled glass milk bottles with greenery and berries. They attached notes of encouragement and distributed these symbols of goodwill to the team at Anderson Elementary and more staff members.

The Hazel Dell staff also wrapped around a couple of families facing possible eviction over the holidays. This amazing team rallied and donated from their own pockets to help the families remain in their homes for a while longer.

According to Family-Community Resource Coordinator Shanna Baird, this effort is the answer to an important question:

“How can we help families and help them feel secure and loved and cared for?”

Hearts are full not only at Hazel Dell but throughout the district. I’m inspired by all the ways that people are giving back. When we come together, our schools and community grow even stronger.

Wishing you, your family, and friends great joy and peace this holiday season.

Thank you for everything that you do to help others.

Take care,

Image: Steve's signature