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Students Bring Holiday Cheer to Those in Need

Early Childhood Education students give back and host a ‘Shoebox Christmas’. 

Two female preschoolers smile with their shoeboxes filled with gifts

Lorain County JVS juniors in the Early Childhood Education program are giving back this holiday season by hosting a ‘Shoebox Christmas’. 

The students worked with their Lorain County JVS preschoolers, helping them pick a theme for their shoebox, wrapping it in paper and decorating it to match the theme. 

Grayson Gifford, Early Childhood Education junior from Firelands, explains what happens with the boxes once they are decorated. “The preschoolers take the box home and with their parents help, they fill it with things that little girls and boys might need like toothbrushes and socks, and then some little toys and fun things too.” 

This project is in partnership with the local Head Start program. According to Jennifer Bartlebaugh, Lorain County Community Action Agency Head Start education and disabilities specialist, the shoeboxes and gifts that the students put together will be given to families at their Wellington, Lagrange or Firelands site, based on availability. 

“I’m so happy that my students can do this community service project,” said Hilary Duffala, Early Childhood Education instructor. 

“Hilary and I have been working together for years,” shared Bartlebaugh. “We love and value our partnership with Lorain County JVS and it’s a great way for students to get hands-on job experience.”  

Lorain County JVS Preschooler, Quinn Mitcheff, is four years old and was excited to talk about her shoebox. “I made a unicorn box for a very special friend I don’t know! My box is pink, and I put unicorns on it and put unicorn stuff in it!”  

“It feels good to do this project because it is hard to hear that some kids won’t get presents for Christmas,” shared Gifford. “This project is our way of giving back to the community.” 

Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2021