(December 2021)—When blistering cold weather returns, it’s hard not to think of those who may not have coats, scarves, gloves or hats to keep warm. Valley Stream District Thirteen’s Howell Road Elementary School strives each year to keep those in need warm. The school’s annual Giving Tree project, hosted by their third-grade classes, encourages students, faculty, and community members to gather donations of various cold-weather items.
Each December, the generous students at Howell Road Elementary set out to gather donations of scarves, hats, gloves and more. Once collected, the children adorn the Giving Tree with the items. The goal is to completely load the tree with donations.
“I am so proud of Howell Road Elementary’s ability to rally together and help one another,” said Mr. Frank Huplosky, Principal of Howell Road Elementary School. “Giving back to the community is the true spirit of the holiday season. Everyone deserves a little Christmas magic!”
Giving to those in need is a key theme of the Giving Tree project. Howell Road Elementary would not be doing this theme justice without the acknowledgment of the students within its halls who may be in need themselves. Each year, the week going into the holiday break, those students in need are welcomed to anonymously come to the Giving Tree and shop for items they need for the cold months ahead.
“Thank you to those who have donated to our Giving Tree,” said Ms. Best, third grade teacher of Howell Road Elementary School. “I look forward to doing this with my students every year. It’s great to see the enthusiastic participation from everyone.”
This year, the items collected for the Giving Tree will be donated to Howell Road Student Council’s Howell Road Community Market. Each month, the market has its theme to coincide with the necessary items for the season, so the donations sought by the Giving Tree fit the theme of the December Community Market perfectly. The Howell Road Community Market is another way the school helps struggling community members, inviting students in need and their families to shop the market at the end of each month’s donation cycle.