For the past ten years, Clarkdale Elementary Schools has hosted the Santa Shop allowing kids to purchase that perfect family gift while also giving back to the school.
“The main thing that we wanted to get them to understand was that it’s not all about giving the gifts for our self and giving them mainly to other people and using our money and our resources to buy things for other people and make them happy at the holidays too.”
Items for the shop are collected or donated throughout the year.
"Basically, we go out in the community throughout the school year, and purchase items over the school year at discounted prices basically from their businesses and put those items in our Santa Shop here.”
And It’s all stuff the kids want to take home and give as gifts.
“We have tools, and things like that for dads, we have lots of things for moms lotions, little coupon books, those are always popular for the mom's; things that they can get hugs. Maybe they can pick up their laundry things like that; we have jewelry for kids, we’ve got some little pet items, the kids love to get that.”
The Santa Shop fundraiser goes directly to fund extracurricular activities at the school.
“Our music program does between five and seven performances a year, they’re all grade level performances and going into that it takes a lot of money, resources, to put on this program; backdrops, props, anything like that we would need.”
It’s not just only on stage where students will showcase their talent; funding is needed also for arts and crafts.
“Any of those paint supplies, paint brushes, paper, anything like that; also any art supplies that our teachers need in the classroom; this money goes to help towards that fund.”
This is why Culepeper says the school depends on funds from fundraisers.
“We raise between $1500 and $2,000 each year to put towards those funds which are really, really good it makes a big difference.”