Many generations of the East Islip community gathered together at the high school’s library on Dec. 10, celebrating the 16th annual Breakfast with Santa holiday party. Hosted by teacher Kelly Schwender and her 60 students in East Islip High School’s child development and parenting classes, the event centers on children enrolled in the district’s Toddler High preschool program – and their joyous visit with Santa Claus.
“This party helps everyone get ready and get into the holiday spirit,” said Schwender. “Everyone enjoyed it – parents and grandparents as well as district administrators, faculty and staff.”
Students and local youngsters ages three to five enrolled in Toddler High spent several weeks preparing for this event, creating hands-on holiday art projects to decorate the library, including jumbo gingerbread houses, gingerbread centerpieces and stuffed gingerbread boys and girls. All the projects were kept secret until the big day, in order to surprise the children’s family members. Everyone enjoyed breakfast while anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, and once the red-clad guest of honor was there, the preschoolers took photos and shared their holiday wish lists with him. At the event’s conclusion, Santa gave the children gift bags filled with goodies from their high-school buddies as well as something special from him.