UNION CITY — Before heading back to the North Pole for last minute preparations before his Christmas Eve journey, Santa Claus came to Mississinawa Valley Elementary School for a special visit on “Grinch Day” with the students and MVS Elementary Principal, Mrs. Stephanie L.S. Kemp.
The school’s theme this quarter, “Don’t Be a Grinch, Be Kind” was displayed on the main bulletin board at the entrance of the building. Throughout the weeks leading up to “Grinch Day,” students who were spotted being kind to others were recognized by everyone in the school. This year, Elfie (a visitor from the North Pole) brought a Grinch ornament with him and told students that The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was his favorite Christmas movie because, in the end, the Grinch realized that Christmas was about love and kindness.
”Elfie, our visiting elf from the North Pole, watched for students who were kind,” said Mrs. Kemp. “When spotted, Elfie would hide in the classroom of that student the next day. The class would do the announcements and the “kind” student earned a certificate from the North Pole and had their picture displayed on the bulletin board.”
For the past three years, “Elfie” (the kindness elf) has returned to Mississinawa Valley Elementary from the North Pole.
“The first year I introduced Elfie, he had a specific act of kindness for the students to do each day. When a student was caught doing this act of kindness, Elfie would hide in that student’s classroom and students would find him the next day. The entire class would then help me do the announcements.” said Kemp.
Last year, the school added a theme to this tradition, ‘Our Kindness Shines Bright,’ and displayed the act of kindness for each day on a bulletin board. This year, Elfie watched for students who performed acts of kindness on their own. Students were also encouraged to help Elfie. If they saw someone being kind, they were encouraged to write to Elfie and nominate someone.
Kemp added, “It was really sweet to see how many students nominated others.”
The students who were caught being kind by Elfie this year were: Bianca Camacho (1st Grade), Hudson Hopkins-Tucker (2nd Grade), Jade Steen (4th Grade), Jace Denney (3rd Grade), Jayde Oswalt (Kindergarten), Evelyn Hammaker (3rd Grade), Cheyenne Halley (3rd Grade), Jace Oswalt (1st Grade), Eeastan Keaser (3rd Grade), Dorian (2nd Grade), Enrique Elizondo (1st Grade), Emery Linebaugh (Kindergarten), Lillyana Douglas (Kindergarten), Easton Riffell (2nd Grade).
During Santa’s visit, he greeted the students in the cafeteria with a hearty “Ho Ho Ho!” and asked how their year has been going so far. After assuring students that he had received their Christmas wish lists this year, Santa encouraged all students to continue being good and kind to others. When the Grinch appeared, students giggled and wondered how he got into the building, making such a fuss. Yet, with welcoming smiles, laughter, and kindness, the Grinch’s heart was full of joy, and everyone celebrated his transformation.
May we all find such kindness, laughter and joy this season. Merry Christmas!
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.