Sunday, September 23, 2018

After-school program students enjoy surprise holiday party

Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 | Views: 1067

After-school program students enjoy surprise holiday party
By Kathryn J. Martin

PONCHATOULA---The week before Christmas, secrets and whispering reach an all-time high as folks try to finish laying in surprises for friends and relatives.

The Ponchatoula after-school program at the Community Center was no exception.

Seventh and eighth grade students had asked for a Christmas party and were told they could have one if they did it themselves – supply the food and treats.

However, the secret was, the teachers were already planning a surprise party for the students!

Even as educator Tessa Hills was sharing the info with this writer guest, the whole Junior High bunch was coming up behind her with a gift they’d made for her – a beautiful plate with the signature of each student on it. Taken by surprise, Ms. Hills struggled to hold back happy tears as she looked at the gift and the joyful faces.

Then the students went upstairs where the door was opened to show their regular classroom converted to party time, decorations and food. Chicken tenders and dips, toast, chips, pizza, cookies, frosted muffins and beverages welcomed healthy appetites.

Another table held gifts the students had made for parents and guardians. Beautiful flowers and Mason jar candleholders with deer heads, hearts, butterflies and Fleur de Lis designs cut out of the white interiors. Still another table held a gift for each student.

Led by Ms. Hills and fellow teachers Jennifer Daigle and Windy Haist, game time proved to be as exciting as gifts received as the students played with enthusiasm to say the least.

Having completed their tests at school, they were free to play and from the volume and the exuberance, it was easy to see the games were fun. Fun, yes, but each was a learning experience from vocabulary word games to physical co-ordination.

Just as important was team effort and rapport as the students yelled support for each other.

Director May Stilley has been a big booster of the party as congratulations for a job well done by teachers and students together these past few months.

From the teamwork and politeness observed today, congratulations are indeed in order.