During this time of the year, the spirit of giving is around every corner. Our schools pride themselves with using this holiday season as a time to give back to the community in various ways. Many schools have collaborated with one another through toy drives, collected items for local pet shelters and children’s hospitals, donated to local food pantries and have taken time to plan innovative ways to give back to others in the community. This type of giving teaches students to have empathy and compassion for others in their community and allows The Six Pillars of Character to be practiced within schools.
Community and faith-based partnerships have provided countless and continuous support in helping to meet the needs of students and families within the county. These partnerships are paramount to our student’s success. Annually, Somebody Cares St. Augustine collects and distributes winter coats for students. Hugs Across the County has partnered with schools to serve 1,200 students with its No Hungry Holiday bags. St. Johns CARES giving tree drive collected and donated over $40,000 in wish list items last year for students and community members, with needs that are vast and varied. Our ASSIST program has more than 418 homeless and unaccompanied students identified to date. We are currently working with St. Johns Fire Rescue Department for its Firefighters for Families program. Many schools have Angel Trees and clubs and community organizations are supporting families directly. A huge thank you to all organizations who have provided clothing, shoes, food, school supplies, books, volunteers, mentors and so much more. We look forward to the continual collaboration efforts to benefit and enrich the school community.