Santa and eight helpers from Green Primary School delivered backpacks filled with toys, books, crayons, hats, gloves and other goodies Friday to students at Leggett elementary in Akron.
Children from the Green elementary and its neighboring Early Learning Center donated their own gently used books and helped collect donations of gifts for the Akron students. Special packages of school supplies were delivered to each classroom, and gift cards from Target went to each teacher.
Eight students from Tammy DeDominickis’ second-grade classroom at Green Primary were chosen to pass out the gifts to the Leggett kids.
Students at St. Hilary School in Fairlawn also participated in the project.
Leadership Akron members surpassed the goal they set to make Christmas brighter for the 419 Leggett students and their teachers. Members of the 2011-2012 class and the current Leadership Akron class collected cash and donations worth more than $24,500.
About 30 volunteers spent three hours last week filling the backpacks.
Joe Swiatowski, president of Hickory Harvest in Coventry Township, and Valerie Wolford, director of communications for the city of Green, decided to spearhead the project after the leadership class visited the school last year and learned that many of the students wouldn’t get holiday gifts. Many also don’t have a Christmas tree or decorations in their homes, Leggett Principal Philomena Vincente said.
Wolford said Leadership Akron members were overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses, Leadership Akron members and other individuals whose donations made the project a huge success.
“We are way jazzed,” Wolford said. “Joe and I are like kids on Christmas.”
Cash donations, totaling more than $10,600, allowed the Leadership Akron classes to surprise Vincente with 15 iPads and cases for the school.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.