HOPE Scholars Bring Holiday Celebrations to Elementary School Students
Edison State College’s HOPE Scholars created a traditional Thanksgiving feast for the students in Maria Cardenas’s third grade class at Orange River Elementary School. The HOPE Scholars adopted the class and provide mentoring and tutoring for the third-graders, as well as support a backpack program for the class.
The Thanksgiving celebration included: Turkey, Dressing, Green Beans, Rice, Macaroni & Cheese, Cookies, Donuts, Flan, and Juice. The children thoroughly enjoyed the dinner- a number of them had never experienced Thanksgiving before. As Mrs. Cardenas explained, "This will be one of the best meals many of these kids will have ever had."
In keeping with tradition, every HOPE Scholar told the students what they are most thankful for. They also shared with the kids their own memories of Thanksgiving when in the third grade-the college students joked that it was difficult to remember that far back!
The scholars prepared an extra plate of food for the students to take and a bag of non perishable food items to take home as well. The children wrote letters thanking the 12 HOPE Scholars for visiting their class and for the delicious meal.
The HOPE Scholars have a Christmas Party planned for the third graders in December. They will treat the children to cupcakes and juice. Each student in the class will be given a warm-up suit, shoes, and a toy provided by the funds raised from the Pop's Concert Concession Stand that the HOPE Scholars manned.
HOPE Scholarships are administered by Edison State College’s Project HOPE (Help One Person Excel). Since the program launched in 1993, more than 1,200 students have received two-year tuition and book scholarships. The program's social and educational support network allows participants the opportunity to experience success, complete their college educations and become productive citizens. HOPE Scholars give back to the community through volunteer activities and mentoring.
For more information about Project HOPE, please contact Fred Morgan, Faculty Advisor for the program at Edison State College (239) 489-9338.