Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community and beyond.
Following is a summary of activities at each school.
Willow Springs Learning Center
Willow Springs Learning Center four-year-old kindergartners and their families contributed generously to Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) this holiday season. Families and staff collected more than 300 gifts, and students hand-delivered them as a group to St. James Catholic Church where they sang songs before returning to school. The toys and gifts will be distributed within the local community.
Lannon Elementary School
Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members collected 650 items for the SOS Food Pantry. In addition students, families and staff participated in a special toy drive, led by Lannon fifth grade student and cancer survivor Ryan Palm-Pascale, to benefit children in the Hematology, Oncology and Transplant unit at Children’s Hospital. The toy drive generated nearly 100 items for children who are spending the holidays as patients at Children’s Hospital.
Lannon staff sponsored a Sussex area family of four for Christmas and generously donated toys, books, bedding, coats, grocery gift cards and several household items to help them this holiday season.
Students decorated 340 paper grocery bags donated by Sussex Piggly Wiggly to be used at the Sussex Food Pantry Christmas dinner distribution.
Maple Avenue Elementary School
Maple Avenue staff sponsored a Sussex area family of five for Christmas and generously donated food, toys and games, books, kitchen and laundry supplies, clothing, toiletries, grocery and other gift cards to help them this holiday season.
Maple Avenue buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home. They raised $587 to purchase 150 books and book sets for all ages and reading levels that families could enjoy during the holiday season. All books were donated to SOS.
Christina Garley’s fifth-grade classroom is collecting money for a charitable organization as part of its “Buck a Book” program.
Marcy Elementary School
Marcy students raised $600 for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
Staff and students are tying fleece blankets for Project Linus which is a nonprofit organization providing homemade blankets to children in need.
Kindergarten students are planning a toy drive in February to benefit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The donations will be part of a program called “Jack’s Toy Shop” in honor of a young cancer patient.
First grade classes participated in their annual food drive for the Sussex Food Pantry. Students brought in nonperishable items to donate.
Second grade classes participated in two charitable activities this year. Students made cards and potted plants as gifts for people in a nursing home. They will also be sending cards and notes to children at Children’s Hospital.
Third grade classes will be participating in a fundraiser and walk for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in support of one of their classmates.
Fourth grade students are making blankets for Children’s Hospital patients.
Fifth grade is leading a grade-level project to raise money for Water for South Sudan. The organization drills new wells, rehabilitates older wells, and provides hygiene education in villages located in South Sudan. The project is related to “A Long Walk to Water” that was a class read-aloud book.
Woodside Elementary School
Kindergartners in Peter Dargatz’s class collected “Dargatz Dollars” for classroom tasks in their “wants and needs” unit. Dollars are turned in for items the students wanted and donated to patients in need at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Students and families also signed a giving contract and gave up one holiday want to donate to those in need. The kindergartners will be leading an all-school Children’s Hospital fundraiser in January. An inaugural Cookies & Cocoa for a Cause event was held Dec. 2 raising more than $1,600 for the project. The current class contribution is close to $2,500.
Kindergarten classes delivered gifts for 100 residents at Serenity Village, an assisted living residence in Slinger. As part of the Kindergarten Service Project, students and their families signed up to provide gifts for individuals at the facility. The gifts were distributed at the residents’ holiday party. This is the seventh year for the service project.
Woodside first grade and third grade families brought donations for the Sussex Food Pantry to their holiday music performances.
The fifth grade Students of Service Club made cat treats and dog toys for the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County and decorations and non-skid stockings for nursing home residents.
Woodside families and staff members collected $2,000 before Thanksgiving to create turkey tubs filled with groceries for families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community for the sixth consecutive year. Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. Parent volunteers shopped for groceries to build the tubs. Items included a frozen turkey, bag of stuffing, jar of gravy, sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables, bread, canned cranberries, a fresh pie, beverages, appetizers such as crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items were put into 35 large sturdy tubs and delivered to families.
Templeton Middle School
Student Council sponsored a toy drive for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. A grand total of 334 toys were collected. Students competed according to house colors. Toys were dropped off to the hospital the week of Dec.18.
Hamilton High School
Spanish Club adopted two Hispanic families with six children total through the Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council. Students in all Spanish classes donated money to purchase gifts for the families including winter jackets, clothing, toys, books and gift cards. Spanish Club members wrapped the gifts and the officers delivered them to the families.
Hamilton A Cappella, Cantabile and Concert Choirs spread cheer by caroling at the Sussex tree-lighting ceremony, Sussex Lioness Club luncheon and Milwaukee’s Third Ward tree-lighting ceremony.
Hamilton German Club raised money and collected clothing to help in the fight against homelessness, poverty and hunger in the Milwaukee metro area. A club wide coin drive raised $200 which was used for the purchase of items to be donated to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Items purchased included socks, t-shirts, jackets, toiletries, hats and toys. German Club also collected more than 300 articles of clothing that were donated to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.
Club Action continued its school supply collection to benefit Hope Center of Waukesha. Club members sold apple cider at Charger Challenge with all proceeds to benefit a selected nonprofit organization. Members have been been active volunteers in community events such as Spooky Sussex, Apple Harvest Festival and the Sussex tree-lighting ceremony. Club Action raised funds to support Panda conservation efforts and continue to circulate funds through Kiva.org which provides business loans to impoverished women around the world.
Hamilton School Student Council adopted four children through the Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council. Student Council members joined together to shop and wrap the gifts. A Spirit of Giving initiative was held in school. Students from all four grade levels were randomly selected to receive a $10 gift card. Student Council also made a donation of gifts, toys, games and coloring books to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with funds raised through various fundraising efforts including Charger Challenge.
Hamilton DECA members shopped for holiday presents for the first grade class at Gaenslen Elementary School in Milwaukee. Gaenslen first-graders completed “All About Me” forms and Hamilton DECA members provided gift bags with at least one nice toy and other inexpensive gifts to these students. Gaenslen is located in a Milwaukee neighborhood that has one of the lowest household incomes in the state. Several of the first grade students are homeless. In addition to delivering presents, Hamilton DECA took cookies and juice. Hamilton students spent the afternoon of Dec. 15 reading books, putting together new toys and playing with the children for whom they shopped. This has become an annual event for Hamilton DECA and is always a heart-warming experience for the students who participate. The advisor and 25 students made the trip.
National Honor Society (NHS) held a community blood drive serving the Blood Center of Wisconsin. More than 150 people donated — enough to save 134 lives. Members also hosted food drives to benefit SOS the week before Thanksgiving, producing more than 3,000 pounds of food and $2,500 in donations. NHS sponsored a family through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha. Fifteen NHS members assisted at the Hamilton Education Foundation Charger Challenge: Turkey Edition.
Charger Robotics Team 537 holds monthly drives for nonperishable food and personal care items to support SOS.
Offices A, B, C, and Publications – High school staff members adopted two families providing them with many items to brighten their holidays including wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, personal items, household goods and gift cards.
District staff members
Staff members throughout the district adopted two families in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another. They provided wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift certificates for families in need of support.