Staff and students at English Bluff elementary decided to switch up the traditional holiday music performance and instead find a way to give back to their local community.
The result was the Holiday Arts Gala, which raised $3,380 for Deltassist.
“Here at English Bluff, we are an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP). One of the key tenets of the PYP is action, so we thought it would be great to give students an opportunity to engage in a form of contribution or service,” said Jessica Elkin, IB Coordinator and teacher at English Bluff. “We came up with the idea of a holiday arts gala that could involve the entire school in a collaborative celebration of arts and togetherness.”
The holiday arts gala took place at the school on Thursday, Dec. 8 and was a huge hit with staff, students and families alike.
Elkin said the hallways of the school became an art gallery, where each student contributed a piece of art that their family could purchase by donation.
“Along with the art donations, there was a silent auction with handcrafts by English Bluff families and various other gifts,” she said. “Throughout the evening, there were choir performances in the library and between sets, parents could purchase handmade clay tree ornaments made by the grade threes or organic cranberry sauce lovingly made by the grade ones.
“In the foyer, we had an evening of holiday tunes played by our Grade 7 band members who formed quartets. In the gym we had a DJ play fun holiday-themed music all evening while families mingled and danced. We had hot chocolate and popcorn for sale by donation, and everyone had lots of fun in the photo booth and making Christmas wishes to hang on the wishing tree.”
Principal Toshi Carleton-Gaines was very proud of the event.
“I’m so proud of our students, staff and families for wholeheartedly embracing the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season in a different way this year,” said Carleton-Gaines. “In particular, it was wonderful to see our learners so deeply engaged and connected in finding ways to give back to the community.”