While the holidays are over, the fun and goodwill that they brought to Colonial Nation remain in the hearts and minds of everyone. Many schools sponsored Adopt-A-Family programs that, because of the pandemic, were primarily made possible thanks to the generosity of the staff. McCullough was one of many schools where employees stepped up and shopped for gifts. Jennifer Goldsborough, a teacher at Gunning Bedford (GB) headed up the annual gift-giving program as she has in the past at the school. Goldsborough, who began teaching at GB in 2001, grew up in the district where her mother worked as a paraprofessional and her grandmother as a nutrition services worker. She has fond memories of them supporting families in need saying, “because of these early experiences, I developed a sense of empathy and community that I can honestly attribute being a part of the Colonial School District for most of my life. I’ve seen kindness and generosity extend beyond the classroom walls.” Usually, the staff at GB support one family in each grade, but with everyone working remotely, she worried that donations would fall short. Much to her delight, teachers, and staff donated $2,000; enough to help 14 people in three different families! “The families were beyond grateful, and in some cases moved to tears when they received their gifts. “I don’t even know what to say right now. I wasn’t expecting this. I…I…just can’t believe this is really happening,” one tearful mother told Goldsborough, “ You are all so kind! Please tell everyone I said thank you and let them know that this is going to help us out so much this year. Is there really $645.00 in there?” Completely sobbing she continued, “I just don’t even know what to say, but please thank everyone for me. This means so much you just don’t even know.” Goldsborough is equally grateful to everyone at GB who Cash Apped their donations to her saying. “This act of kindness shows that even during a pandemic, when the world seems like it’s been flipped upside down, the Power of We is real and it’s resilient!”
At Eisenberg, members of the New Castle County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. not only participated in the Adopt-A-Family program but donated 10 coats with scarves and gloves for students. Aside from Adopt-A-Family programs, other schools like Southern and New Castle also held virtual Ugly Sweater Days, others hosted virtual holiday parties and Santa even dropped off gifts to be sent to students at Leach, thanks to the staff who dressed for the occasion. Not to be forgotten is Jim Zimmerman, William Penn’s Deputy Principal, who dressed as Santa and chatted virtually with the students in his wife Katie’s second-grade class at Wilmington Manor. In every school, in every way, the holidays were made more cheerful thanks to teachers and staff. Students of all ages were simply thrilled, and as usual, Colonial Nation came through for students once again, kudos to all who helped!