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The 'Spirit of Giving' Returns to BKW Elementary

At the Dec. 5 Bulldog Early Show, the elementary school teachers kicked off their annual Parents as Reading Partners (PARP) program. Funded by the PTA, PARP encourages family members to take 20 minutes, five days a week, for two weeks in December to read to their child from a book of their choice. This year's PARP program is currently underway. As a reward for completing the two weeks of reading, the PTA gives each student a brand new book. Plus, out of the participants, one student from each grade will be drawn at random to recieve a quilt donated by members of the community (Stay turned for the winners!). PARP's purpose is to foster the love of reading in children and also to showcase caring for your community with their "Spirit of Giving" theme. Each month, the elementary school adopts a certain character trait to focus on, with December's theme being "empathy."

While this is the the PARP program's 34th year, the “Spirit of Giving” theme is also making a return. Last year, the school used the Spirit of Giving to build awareness and give back to the Schoharie community after it was devastated by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. This year, giving is still an important theme as the economy continues to create hardship for families all over the Capital Region, including the Hilltowns.

The PARP and Spirit of Giving event on Dec. 5 kicked off with a poem that Mrs. Miller rapped for the entire audience about the program. Next there was a Pictionary game show performed by the teachers. Using a Mimeo camera, they took turns drawing titles of famous children's books in a effort to get their fellow teachers to guess the title they were drawing. The winning team then presented a $100 check to Colleen DeMuth to be donated to the Hilltown Community Resource Center; the money was raised by donations from staff.

The donation to the Hilltown Community Resource Center was made in conjunction with donated mittens, gloves, videos and toys that were purchased by the BKW Student Senate (overseen by Colleen DeMuth) with money from their Boxtop fundraiser and also blankets that were made by Mrs. Raymond, Mrs. Habich and Mrs. Crounse's classes (click here to see pictures of the blankets being made). These donations from the staff and students aren't the only thing to highlight the theme of empathy this year.

Many of the classes in the elementary school are taking part in their own projects to give back in various ways. Among these projects, Kindergarten is wrote letters to nursing home patients, second grade students wrote letters to BKW alumni who are serving in the military, the third grade classes are collecting donations for the Hilltown Seniors, and the first grade classes are working with the Ronald McDonald House.

Check out some pictures, featured below, of the Dec. 5 Bulldog Early Show where PARP and the Spirit of Giving kicked off.