Morris schools offer 'shopping experience' for students, families
Dec 02, 2011 (Morris Daily Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Morris grade school students will have their own shopping opportunities Saturday, Dec. 3. Both Saratoga Elementary and White Oak Elementary will host holiday stores with "kid-priced" items.
For the first year, the Saratoga's Parent Teacher Organization will host their Lil' Shopper's Shoppe holiday store on a Saturday morning, rather than during the school day. Students and their families can attend anytime between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday.
In the past, students have been taken out of class to shop for their loved ones, but the PTO thought it would be less stressful for the kids and the teachers if the shoppers were given a few hours to shop, rather than just class time.
"It was difficult," said PTO President Corri Trotter. "It was a PTO event and the PTO members couldn't attend because most of them work."
This year, between 10 and 12 members will be able to help, along with about 20 faculty and staff members and a few eighth graders from Saratoga, Trotter said.
Items are all priced between $1 and $10, but Trotter said 85 percent of the items are $4 or less. To preview items, visit the Lil' Shopper's Shoppe website at www.holidayshop.org.
"These will not be items people have on their lists," Trotter said. "This is more of a shopping experience for the kids."
She said it gives them an opportunity to put their math skills to the test and to learn about budgeting their money.
Students can shop alone if they are capable, with their parents or with a volunteer. Trotter said some may not want to shop with their families because they may be shopping for the person who brought them.
If the students choose not to shop with their family member, there will be other activities going on at the school Saturday to keep the family members busy. The Scholastic Book Fair will be open in the library. A concession stand with coffee, juice, doughnuts and other breakfast foods will also be available.
The technology team will be taking pictures of the kids on Santa's lap and Saratoga spirit wear orders can be placed. Orders place on Saturday will arrive before Christmas, Trotter said.
Shoppers can enter through Door 6 at Saratoga, the same door visitors would enter through for sporting events. The store will be held in the big gym.
"Events like this enable us to give back to Saratoga," Trotter said. "The money goes right back into the school."
White Oak students can also play Santa this year by participating in the school's Secret Santa shopping event in the small gym from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
All students are invited to bring their families, shop and wrap their gifts. Ninety-five percent of the items from Fun Services, Inc. are under $10, according to White Oak building secretary Kathy Vogen.
"It's economical for the little kids and it teaches them how to think about somebody else and have something for them on Christmas," Vogen said. Sometimes the shoppers sneak in a gift or two for themselves, too.
Vogen said one of the biggest sellers last year was a large doll, probably bought for moms or sisters. She said they sold like hot cakes.
The items vary each year, but there are gifts for everyone. Students can purchase office supplies for mom or dad's desk, jewelry, magnetic picture frames, coffee mugs and more.
The students can shop all they want then wrap their gifts, too. Fun Services provides gift bags so the gifts are ready to be put under the Christmas tree when the children walk out the door.
"They get really excited," Vogen said about watching the students shop. "It's so cute to see."
Parent and teacher volunteers will be around to help shoppers, as will students from the Shabbona Honor Society from Shabbona Middle School. Vogen said any honor society member who volunteers will receive service hours.
Santa's Shop, a holiday store hosted by the Minooka Federated Woman's Club, will be held for the Minooka Elementary School students at the school on Coady Drive Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Coffee and juice will be provided, as well as free gift wrapping.
Many of the items available at the holiday shop have been donated by members of the Woman's Club, said club member, Lorraine Davidson. Students can buy for anyone in their family: mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Many of the items are available for $1 or less.
___ (c)2011 the Morris Daily Herald (Morris, Ill.) Visit the Morris Daily
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