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Magical Words- but Only for Some

Christmas Break- Winter Break- whatever you want to call it, the word “break” is in there, and to thousands of Putnam City children and teachers, the countdown has been in motion for about two weeks. Only 3 more days of school until break begins! I made the happy mistake of thinking that Putnam City was in school through Wednesday December 21st, only to learn from our Teacher of the Year Carla Young that no, it was to Wednesday! How exciting for Kacy and me, but of course there is still a lot of work to be done, and now one less day in which to do it!

As a child in Putnam City, I recall fondly the Christmas parties we had in the days leading up to the break. We’d make crafts to take home to our parents, play Christmas-themed games, and have a lot of treats thanks to our homeroom moms. I always enjoyed being in the Christmas programs, and can still sing the words to many a tune I learned from those programs like “It’s a marshmallow world in the winter. . . “

As a teacher, I too looked forward to the break, but I also worked over the break. Often I would take a seasonal job so I could buy gifts for family and friends. I spent a couple years working in the stock room at Williams Sonoma. That is a discount I dearly miss, my friends. I also did school work over the break. Each year, my students’ draft term paper was due the last day before break, so I had a full two weeks to grade 60 plus 10 page papers and determine which ones had potential to be entered into the History Day competition. I know I am not alone in using these breaks for both types of work.

Recently I was shocked to learn that some kids just don’t look forward to any of the school breaks. The reason is because school is their safe place. They experience many of the same happy memories I have leading up to break, but as it gets closer, they are more apprehensive. At school, they consistently get the food and warmth they do not get at home. What happens to these kids over break? How do they and their families manage? Obviously they don’t even expect to get gifts at Christmas, but I hope our CareShare efforts bring a welcome surprise to each of them. But what about the necessities? How can we do more so that no children have to worry about what they’ll eat? I look forward to working with our community to solve these problems, because they can be solved!

We at the Putnam City Foundation wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We’ll resume our posts in 2017 with exciting changes for us. Happy New Year Friends!!

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