The holiday season is known for being a time to give back to those who need it most. For CCHS, it’s no different. As students and faculty begin to purchase gifts for loved ones, an extra gift is being brought to the checkout counter– a gift for the Adopt-A-Child service project.
Originally started by former social studies teacher Martha Craine, the program has grown since then and has become monumental for the CCHS school year and for the staff members involved.
Organized by the Student Government Association (SGA), the Adopt-A-Child service project is when CCHS gives to those affected by sexual assault and abuse by “adopting” a child. Once this is done, students and staff members begin to purchase the gifts outlined on their wish list or simply provide monetary support in the form of gift cards for the child they were assigned.
“What I do is I send an email out to everybody– teachers, administration, guidance– and ask them if they are interested in adopting a child. I explain the program for anyone that is new, then I take who is interested in it and I just divide the kids up in that manner,” SGA Adviser Natalie Flaten said.
CCHS SGA partners with the Nancy J. Cotterman Center (NJCC) to receive the list of children who will be participating in the program. Located in Fort Lauderdale, NJCC aims to improve the quality of life for victims of sexual assault and child abuse through effective interventions implemented by professionals.
Each year around the holiday season, they host a holiday party on December 13 at the center. At this party, the “adopted” children will have the opportunity to open the gifts that were wrapped and delivered by CCHS SGA.
“It’s a service project so we want to help the kids who were abused and we want to make them have a better holiday. It’s really nice to see their faces when we go to give them the gifts,” Kimber Counts said. “They get very excited so it’s really cute to see them and the parents are really grateful always so it’s pretty cool to see their reaction.”
Originally started by former social studies teacher Martha Craine, the program has grown since then and has become monumental for the CCHS school year and for the staff members involved. CCHS has hosted this annual project for about 20 years and, for around 16 of them, it has been coordinated by SGA. This year, around 20 teachers volunteered to adopt. With only eight children, some teachers share kids and their wishlists.
Up until December 11, CCHS teachers and staff members will be accepting donations for this service project.
“I feel that it is important to help people who can’t help themselves, especially when they’re children,” math teacher Michelle Harding said. “It makes you feel good when you know you’ve helped someone even if you don’t actually meet them.”
Up until December 11, CCHS teachers and staff members will be accepting donations for this service project. By the time the donation period comes to a close, SGA will begin to collect and sort the donations by child. The presents along with the service project will be wrapped up with a bow on top. As each child opens their gift, everyone around will begin to “adopt” the giving spirit of the holiday season.
Photo by Carly Cuoco