We had a great trip to the Children’s Museum on Wednesday.  It was much calmer this year ---just Washington Center students and no bus glitches.  Many thanks to Riverside, Carolina and Greer High Schools for providing money for this trip and to Linda Hill for planning and directing the event.  In addition to the Children’s Museum, we had groups who went to the Glazing Pot to work on projects; others who went to restaurants; and, some who went bowling.  Also, representatives from the Children’s Little Theatre were at Hollis where they read Pete the Cat Saves Christmas to a very enthusiastic audience.

When you are in the building, take a look at our beautiful Christmas tree.  Hard working PTA ladies decorated it for us on Monday, and we very much appreciate their taking time out of their day to come to help us get ready for the holiday season.  Also, thanks to Coach Robert over at Hollis for setting up the Christmas tree there.     

This week, on Thursday, PTA met to work on plans for the spring Run, Walk and Roll to be held at Furman on April 9.  Please let them know if you would like to get involved in planning and setting up this important event.  They have taken on quite a task by adding a K5 run, and they will welcome your help. 

Jennifer Lancaster and Linda Thigpen got an idea from Pinterest that they want to try at Washington Center.  They are accepting donations of books --- paperback or hard cover ones--which they will use to build Christmas trees to display in the media center.  When the holiday is over, these books will be donated to a charitable organization that has yet to be chosen.  So if you have books you are finished with, please send them in for the trees. 

This week we also received a “rendering” from “Trees Greenville”, showing where and what kind of trees they would like to donate to us.  They are going to purchase and plant thirty trees in the front and on the sides of our building, and we are very excited about this gift.  Not only will the trees make our campus look more attractive and provide some shade where it is very much needed, but having the trees and caring for them will be incorporated into the instruction for our students.  Thanks to “Trees Greenville”, Joelle Teachey and Hope Timmerman for providing the trees, and thanks to Cathy Bush for coordinating the project from the Washington Center end. 

The next two weeks are going to be very busy, so I am going to give you a few highlights:  Next week we have dog therapy on Tuesday, and on Thursday, for a very special treat, Saint Joseph’s High School students will be coming to Washington Center for a band and choral concert.  We are really looking forward to having them.  Pictures with Santa will be taken at Hollis on December 8, Tuesday; and on December 9, Wednesday, they will be taken on the main campus.  Polar Express, Pajama Day at Hollis will be on Wednesday, December 9, and we will have a Polar Express/Pajama Day on the main campus on December 17.  On December 18 we will have our big holiday party with Santa, elves, reindeer and gifts from the Klaver club girls at Beck and Hughes Middle Schools.  This will be followed by a holiday break from December 21 through January 1.

If you are interested in donating to Washington Center during the holiday season, please check out your child’s teacher’s Donor Choice site.  During the month of December two large corporations have teamed up to match any donations provided for teachers on Donor’s Choice, and we are hopeful that can get some support that will help with funding the additional teacher computers that we need.  Each teacher has been asked to put a link  to Donor’s Choice on his or her website, and we hope there will be folks who will help out with this effort.

I think you might be interested to know that during this holiday season, Hollis students are studying and celebrating “holidays around the world” with special activities related to various traditions:  Hanukah on December 14, Kwanzaa on December 15, La Posada on December 16 and Christmas on December 18.  Classes on both campuses are making cards and decorations, and five classes, --- Stansell, Piper, Smith, Sosebee and Williams --- have decorated trees for the Festival of Trees at the Hyatt.  This year’s theme is “Stuck”, based on a book by Oliver Jeffers, and several of our classes will be visiting the exhibit in the next couple of weeks.   Also, next week, Amanda Wakely is going to have students decorate and wrap shoeboxes to put under our Christmas tree, so if you have empty ones at home, please send them in. 

I guess you can tell, we are all in a festive spirit.  Please join us when you are able, and we all send best wishes for your holiday season.