Christmas spirit lasts at Minerva Central School

MINERVA - As part of an initiative to promote leadership skills, Minerva Central School (MCS) middle school students have been organizing a year-long effort to raise money for Operation Santa Claus. The students have set an overall goal of raising $1,000 for the organization. Advisory Service Club's first fundraiser generated over $700, doubling their goal. Students sold Christmas chain links for $1 per link, both as an individual effort and at the holiday concert.

Students meet each morning with a faculty advisor who facilitates personal and academic goal setting, team building experiences, and character education. Both the advisory program and leadership through service initiative stem from ideas generated through Minerva's participation in the CFES (College for Every Student) Program. After hearing proposals for several charitable organizations, Operation Santa Claus was chosen as this year's focus.

Operation Santa Claus is a local organization that provides clothing items for families and children in need during the holiday season. Through generous donations of time and money from many individuals, and from groups such as the Minerva Service Organization, Minerva Teachers' Association, Sleeping Giant senior citizens and many local businesses, Operation Santa Claus can serve the needs of several dozen children each year.

"With the ever-increasing needs within our community and with the cost of items that must be purchased, it is especially important that we continue to support these fundraising efforts," said Minerva Principal Heidi Kelly.

The MCS middle-schoolers appreciate all the support from the community.

Fundraising efforts continue as students prepare for their next fundraisers - a theme dress-up day and a Christmas in Spring dance, which will help them reach their goal of at least $1,000 to donate to Operation Santa Claus at the end of the year.

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