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Dover Post
  • McIlvaine Early Childhood center hosts annual Breakfast with Santa

  • Meeting Santa Claus is something that most families include in their children’s holiday experience, and on Saturday students from McIlvaine Early Childhood Center will have an opportunity to meet Kriss Kringle while raising a little money for their school when McIlvaine hosts its annual Breakfast with Santa this Saturday at Applebee’s in Camden.
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  • Meeting Santa Claus is something that most families include in their children’s holiday experience, and on Saturday students from McIlvaine Early Childhood Center will have an opportunity to meet Kriss Kringle while raising a little money for their school when McIlvaine hosts its annual Breakfast with Santa this Saturday at Applebee’s in Camden.
    The event is a good way to help students feel more connected to their school, said Sherry Kijowski, principal of McIlvaine.
    “It’s a way for our kids to have a fun event to kick off the holiday season,” Kijowski said. “It’s a way to help them remember their time at McIlvaine; these are the kinds of events that make school memorable and special for kids.”
    The sold-out event will serve as a fundraiser for the school. Tickets were $5 for children 10 and younger and $8 for anyone 11 or older. The fundraiser typically brings in between $600 and $800. The funds are typically used to pay for field trips, special assemblies and additional materials like library books, Kijowski said.
    “We don’t make a huge profit, but the nominal funds raised go right back to the kids,” she said. “We look at, holistically, what are some things the entire school can benefit from. We use the funds to support both short-term and long-term efforts.”
    In past years, the money has been used to bring in children’s book authors to speak to students, to pay for buses when the school sends students on field trips and to purchase apps for the school’s iPads.
    Applebee’s also uses the event to reach out to the community, said Richard Standish, general manager of the Camden Applebee’s.
    “We do Breakfast with Santa with different organizations in the community,” Standish said. “It’s our way of giving back to the community and of having a good name out there in the community. Applebee’s tries to give back to the neighborhood. We are the neighborhood bar and grill.”
    Roughly 250 people are expected to attend McIlvaine’s event on Saturday. Families will be provided with breakfast, to be served by faculty and staff from McIlvaine, before each child is given a chance to meet Santa and have their photo taken either by their parents or by school staff.
    The event helps parents cross a holiday tradition off their list but it also helps to bring together a student’s home life and their school life, according to Kijowski.
    “I think anything you can do to foster a home-school connection is important,” she said. “I think sometimes taking an event outside the school just gives it a different feel or flavor and in this instance it’s really neat for the kids to come in and see their teachers, see the principals and see Santa; it’s a fun and memorable morning.”
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