By Carolyn Perlmutter | News Editor
Each year the Student Council officers organize a holiday project to collect presents for students at Bukhair Elementary School. These presents go to disadvantaged kids whose families cannot afford presents for Christmas.
When this program originated in 1974, Pearce partnered with Dover Elementary School.
“Fourteen years ago we started working with Bukhair when RHS started helping out Dover,” Student Council sponsor Rebecca Keeton said.
This year a record-breaking 140 children were adopted by Pearce’s fourth-period classes.
“My role is motivating students to give at least $5 to their fourth-period classes for the Bukhair children,” Student Council Cabinet member Zulema Vidana said.
Bukhair Elementary has approximately 750 students in all grade levels 1-6. Nearly 99 percent of the student body is considered economically disadvantaged.
“Our fourth-period class adopted three kids and raised roughly $315,” Student Council class representative Hannah Harden said.
This project takes place throughout November and the beginning of December. Class representatives were given the information about this project at a Student Council meeting on Nov. 4.
“Class representatives relay information to the class about what the present drive is and who it’s for,” Hannah said. “In my case, I also gather the money and shop for the presents.”
Fourth-period classes were given the names of their sponsored students, along with a list of presents they hoped to receive, the week of Nov. 10. On Friday, Dec. 12, the gifts were collected and taken to Bukhair where the adopted children’s parents picked the presents up and delivered them to the kids on Saturday, Dec. 13.
“It is important that we teach young people to help out in their communities and share what they have with others,” Ms. Keeton said. “I can’t think of anything more important for our Pearce students to learn than the importance of giving back.”
In addition to the annual gift drive, the Student Council officers help Bukhair through numerous projects throughout the year. These projects include holding an annual lunch for Bukhair faculty and staff, tutoring students in the Bukhair Saturday school, and purchasing items for Bukhair such as new playground equipment and a digital reading program.
“Over the years, several of these students have come to me and told me how much it meant to them to have gifts to open on Christmas morning and how grateful the families were that we were able to provide for their children when they couldn’t,” Ms. Keeton said.