LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - St. John Elementary school teachers are teaching its students the meaning of Christmas by helping others who are in need.
With the December character theme of "compassion" Assistant Principal Lori Bertrand said the students are giving back to the community to learn the true meaning of the word.
"We wanted to teach them that not everybody has the things that they have," Bertrand said. "We wanted them to see that there was another side out there and how special they feel when they give to the people who are in need."
Bertrand said each grade level at the elementary school chose a different organization to reach out to and give back.
- Pre-K: Toys and books for children at the New Orleans Children's Hospital
- Kindergarten: Christmas cards for children at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
- 1st Grade: Toys and books for Toys-for-Tots
- 2nd Grade: Cards and ornaments for Odyssey Health Care
- 3rd Grade: Gifts for children of Oasis, Calcasieu women's shelter
- 4th Grade: Ornaments to residents of nursing and assisted living homes in Lake Charles
- 5th Grade: Gifts for children from the Giving Tree of St. Martin de Porres Church
- Special Education: St. Nicholas Center
Through the project, Bertrand said she hopes the students understand compassion and impacting the lives of those less fortunate.
"Compassion means caring for others," Fifth Grader Madi Garner said. "It makes me feel happy and I'm glad that we're going to help a family have a really good Christmas."
The outreach project ends on Wednesday, December 14. Bertrand hopes each organization the students donated to will come to the school and meet the students. The students will then have the opportunity to give their gifts to their adopted organization.
"They'll have a better understanding to how it's going to impact the families or the children on the other side, so they'll get to see that," Bertrand said. "To see that there was another side out there and how special they feel when they give to the people who are in need."