By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
December 26, 2012
Giant red bags lined the gymnasium at Whittier Elementary School Dec. 19, all filled with Christmas toys for each and every student from pre-k through sixth grade.
“Christmas is going to be a little nicer for these kids,” said Priscilla Salas, one of the para-professionals at the school.
Through a partnership with LINC and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, the school was the recipient of more than 500 toys, enough for every student at Whittier and then some.
“Lots of families in Northeast struggle between having Christmas for their kids or paying monthly bills,” said Monique Limon, parent liason for Whittier. “This really helps make sure these kids have Christmas.”
In the middle of the program, however, the fire alarm began to blare and the school was evacuated.
“Who would pull the fire alarm during the middle of our holiday festival?” asked one teacher.
The building was quickly evacuated and students lined up orderly along the fenced playground. The alarm was quickly determined to be false and students were admitted back indoors to continue the program. The cause of the alarm turned out to be the flash from this reporter’s camera. Oops!
This is the first year for the program at Whittier but Limon was optimistic that the partnership could continue and become a tradition.
“The smiles on their faces makes it all worthwhile,” Limon said.