A group of high school students helped Santa on Friday and surprised every student at Lake Park Elementary School with gifts and clothes.
“All the kids, so every student from Lake Park Elementary has been adopted by the high school students,” said event volunteer Lauren Kreidler.
The 3rd annual event was made possible thanks to generous volunteers and donors, but also the school principal's Michelle Fleming who was assistant principal for nine years at Palm Beach Gardens High School.
“The students that go to Lake Park Elementary will eventually end up at Palm Beach Gardens High School, so it’s kind of nice to keep it in the neighborhoods and in the same school families,” said Fleming.
You could hear the squeals of excitement from outside each classroom as the kids opened bags as big as them.
“It’s fun to talk with them and color and ask them what they want for Christmas,” said PBGHS senior Morgan Sheehan.
Both schools are Title I. 98 percent of the elementary school is on free lunch with more than 60 percent of the high school kids relying on the same federal aid program.
“So the bigger kids, the high school kids have a special place in my heart. Just for them to come here and bring that joy to the little kids and just being from the same neighborhoods and some of them families, and cousins, its just really nice to see,” said Fleming.
“They start screaming and they are like so excited and they just want to sit on Santa’s lap," Sheehan pointed out.
However, often times it’s not the gifts but the clothes the young kids receive that makes this event all the more sweeter.
“So a lot of them, if they are a child in a family with multiple children, they are most likely getting hand-me-downs so if it’s new especially with tags on and coming out of a Christmas bag, it’s just going to be really special for them,” said Fleming.
Dycom Industries, located in North Palm Beach, made a generous donation to help the PBGHS FBLA chapter who was behind Friday's surprise.