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HomeNewsArchivesFirst Couple's Christmas Party for Students More Green Than Red

First Couple's Christmas Party for Students More Green Than Red

Dec. 17, 2008 — The theme was "green" at the annual children's Christmas parties hosted on St. Croix Tuesday and Wednesday by Gov. John deJongh Jr. and first lady Cecile deJongh.
The first couple gave gifts with the message "Let's Read — Reuse — Recycle" to nearly 2,500 students and parents.
"Literacy, reusing and recycling are issues we want to address and get the students and families into," Cecile deJongh said.
The students in kindergarten through third grade got a chance to visit with Santa (thanks to the efforts of Chris Finch, commissioner of the Department of Human Services) and each one got a green recyclable bag to remind families of the importance of recycling and reusing resources to protect the environment.
Also included in the green bag was a beautifully illustrated hardback book by local author Mario Picayo called A Caribbean Journey From A to Y, subtitled "Read and Discover What Happened to the Z." The book for the students was a special print run with a literacy message from the deJonghs as the first page.
"I really hope parents and children enjoy reading the book together," Cecile deJongh said.
The students bubbled with excitement as they got their gifts and a hug from Santa. Some told Santa "thank you" in very loud voices.
"I want to say thanks to Santa and to Gov. deJongh," said Breyana Almestica, a 6 year old from St. Croix Christian Academy. "I will read the book every day."
The green at Fort Christiansvaern was all abuzz with visibly happy students from 14 schools, private and public. The sound of Christmas music was in the air, provided by DJ Karl with songs such as "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Numerous times he played a special CD made for the occasion, Recycle & Reading for the Season, sung by Irari and written by Eustace "Country" Hamilton.
The party appeared to be very well-organized and well-structured, with numerous volunteers lending a hand to keep things running smoothly, passing out snacks and leading students from one tent to the next. Pitching in were Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jr. ROTC members and "Santa's Helpers," a group of women who help the first lady with events such as this for children.
Maj. Fernando Webster, advisor for Jr. ROTC, brought 26 students to volunteer at the party.
"The kids were elated about being able to come and assist the First Lady," he said.
The students are fulfilling part of their community-service requirements.
"I usually don't like field trips," said Samier Mitchell, an education para-professional (AKA teacher's aide), from Lew Muckle Elementary School. "The atmosphere is cool, well-organized and moving quickly."
After the classes checked in, the students went to a tent where volunteers helped the students fill in the blanks on a preprinted letter to Santa. Vi Vi, a cute clown in a curly red wig and dressed in red and white, treated the students to magic, games and dancing.
"The deJonghs have made a really good gesture hosting this party for the children," ViVi said. "The kids are really enjoying it."
Parties were held last week on St. Thomas and St. John, and a party was held Tuesday in Frederiksted.
Plans to transport the children to the venues were made with schools by special arrangement through the Department of Education.
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Dec. 17, 2008 -- The theme was "green" at the annual children's Christmas parties hosted on St. Croix Tuesday and Wednesday by Gov. John deJongh Jr. and first lady Cecile deJongh.
The first couple gave gifts with the message "Let's Read -- Reuse -- Recycle" to nearly 2,500 students and parents.
"Literacy, reusing and recycling are issues we want to address and get the students and families into," Cecile deJongh said.
The students in kindergarten through third grade got a chance to visit with Santa (thanks to the efforts of Chris Finch, commissioner of the Department of Human Services) and each one got a green recyclable bag to remind families of the importance of recycling and reusing resources to protect the environment.
Also included in the green bag was a beautifully illustrated hardback book by local author Mario Picayo called A Caribbean Journey From A to Y, subtitled "Read and Discover What Happened to the Z." The book for the students was a special print run with a literacy message from the deJonghs as the first page.
"I really hope parents and children enjoy reading the book together," Cecile deJongh said.
The students bubbled with excitement as they got their gifts and a hug from Santa. Some told Santa "thank you" in very loud voices.
"I want to say thanks to Santa and to Gov. deJongh," said Breyana Almestica, a 6 year old from St. Croix Christian Academy. "I will read the book every day."
The green at Fort Christiansvaern was all abuzz with visibly happy students from 14 schools, private and public. The sound of Christmas music was in the air, provided by DJ Karl with songs such as "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Numerous times he played a special CD made for the occasion, Recycle & Reading for the Season, sung by Irari and written by Eustace "Country" Hamilton.
The party appeared to be very well-organized and well-structured, with numerous volunteers lending a hand to keep things running smoothly, passing out snacks and leading students from one tent to the next. Pitching in were Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jr. ROTC members and "Santa's Helpers," a group of women who help the first lady with events such as this for children.
Maj. Fernando Webster, advisor for Jr. ROTC, brought 26 students to volunteer at the party.
"The kids were elated about being able to come and assist the First Lady," he said.
The students are fulfilling part of their community-service requirements.
"I usually don't like field trips," said Samier Mitchell, an education para-professional (AKA teacher's aide), from Lew Muckle Elementary School. "The atmosphere is cool, well-organized and moving quickly."
After the classes checked in, the students went to a tent where volunteers helped the students fill in the blanks on a preprinted letter to Santa. Vi Vi, a cute clown in a curly red wig and dressed in red and white, treated the students to magic, games and dancing.
"The deJonghs have made a really good gesture hosting this party for the children," ViVi said. "The kids are really enjoying it."
Parties were held last week on St. Thomas and St. John, and a party was held Tuesday in Frederiksted.
Plans to transport the children to the venues were made with schools by special arrangement through the Department of Education.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.