PLEASANTVILLE — The spirit of Christmas arrived early at North Main Street School because of one family that cares so much about the students, the Hawkes family. Initially, William and Elaine Hawkes adopted one class, giving each of the students gifts. The following year, and now four years later, the kindness and warmth that the Hawkes family spreads takes place every December.
“Although dealing with a pandemic, the Hawkes family still came through for the children,” said Kia Allen, a fifth-grade teacher.
Allen coordinates this annual holiday event at North Main Street School with the assistance of teachers and paraprofessionals.
This year approximately 300 gifts were donated by the Hawkes family. The gifts the Hawkes family receive in return are the smiles on the children’s faces.
It is a chilly December afternoon; social distancing and masks are the order of the day. On the black top, brightly colored gift bags are carefully arranged on tables. Principal Teresa McGaney-Guy and teachers patiently wait for the students. The excitement in the air is palpable as the students arrive with their families. Peals of laughter and shouts of joys can be heard as each student receives his or her gift. Every student receives a gift and behind their masks most certainly are great big smiles.
All this was captured on video and put into a presentation for the virtual holiday assembly held Dec. 23 by Matt Barnard, a third-grade special education teacher. Brian Kavanagh, the master of ceremonies, set the scene for the school audience by saying, “ We are super excited, everyone has their gifts with them.”
McGaney-Guy said at the opening of the assembly, “Greetings and happy holidays! I want to take this time out to show my heartfelt thank you to the Hawkes family. Thank you for spreading cheer and joy to my students especially during this pandemic. We truly appreciate you. So from our North Main Street School Family to yours, peace, and blessings, and stay safe during this holiday season.”
Christmas music created a festive background during the virtual holiday assembly video. Sweet, crystal clear voices of first-grade students rang out saying merry Christmas, feliz Navidad, and thank you. Displayed during the video were thank you notes decorated with kind and caring words of appreciation to be sent to the Hawkes Family.
Christopher Hawkes addressing those assembled said, “It’s not just about receiving, but giving. We love, love to see smiles on the faces of the students.”