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Wayne, among schools active prior to holidays

By Seth Hancock
  Christmas is here and students are now at home on winter break, but leading up to the time off several area schools held holiday events.
  A School District U-46 press release highlighted events from 41 sites that included concerts to food and toy drives including at Wayne Elementary School which held its annual Giving Tree as well as collecting food items for local families in need.
  “As a principal, it is wonderful to see the impact that our students and Wayne school community can have in helping families in need during the holiday season,” said Wayne’s principal Adam Zurko. “At Wayne school, students and staff dedicate each day to ‘Wayne’s Way’ which is focused on being respectful, responsible and resourceful.”
  Zurko added: “These acts of kindness from our students and staff during the holiday season are a wonderful way to reinforce giving back to our community. At Wayne Elementary School, we love knowing that we can make a positive difference by helping others.”
  The Giving Tree is an annual event at Wayne where families in need are identified.
  “Our Wayne ‘Giving Tree’ is in the front foyer and is an opportunity for our community to give back,” Zurko said. “Anyone who enters the school can take a tag that will confidentially help a family and/or child. The presents and gifts purchased are then returned to the school wrapped for families to pick up for the holiday season.”
  A food drive was new this year with help from the Wayne Parent Teacher Organization which gathered full meals to give to families during the November and December holidays.
  “This is an opportunity for our community to make a monetary donation that provides families with a turkey and all non-perishable sides,” Zurko said. “We deliver the meals to families and they also have the opportunity to pick them up. We have received donations from our Wayne school community and also various church organizations.”
  Other schools, like Bartlett’s Prairieview Elementary School, held toy and food drives in conjunction with organizations like Hanover Township, Lions Club and the South Elgin Food Pantry. Prairieview’s drive was led by teachers Tammy Knudsen and Sara Szydlowski who are the Student Council’s supervisors.
  Several schools had band and choir concerts as well as madrigal dinners. The choir at Streamwood’s Heritage Elementary School performed a concert in early December at the Marklund Homes, a home for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
  Several schools had sponsored field trips to purchase shoes for students while several schools held events like Winter Fest, Mall in the Hall, Breakfast with Santa, Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Night and tree decorating contests among other events.




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