South Point teens reach out to others this holiday

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SOUTH POINT — The Christmas spirit of giving is alive and well at South Point High School as teens there get ready to work on a variety of projects to help bring holiday cheer to those in need in their community.

On Wednesday Dec.16, the Spanish students of Lourdes Ladd will go caroling at three area nursing home — Bryant, Jo-Lin and River’s Bend.

This will be the 12th year for the event where students sing songs in English and Spanish.

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They then go in small groups into residents’ rooms to visit and bring them baskets of sugar-free candy.

The caroling was the idea of Ladd who after the illness of a family member became aware of the need at Christmas for visits at nursing homes.

“I realized how lonely they were,” Ladd said. “This has been so much more meaningful to the patients. The older adults need our support.”

The parenting class at the high school is making fleece hats for the newborns at Cabell Huntington Hospital. The class’s goal is to make 100 hats.

They will be donated to the hospital in memory of Jacob Thacker of South Point, who died of cancer in November at the age of 6. Thacker’s mother, Stacey Thacker, is the district’s social worker.

The student council is sponsoring an Angel Tree and mitten tree for families in need and will go caroling at the oncology unit of King’s Daughters Medical Center.

The teens who are members of Mu Alpha Theta, the national math honor society will once again take 20 students from South Point and Burlington Elementaries on a shopping trip to Wal-Mart. Each teen will have a $100 gift card for the student he or she is in charge of, which will be used to pay for the youngster’s clothing. After the shopping trip, the group will go to a restaurant in Huntington, W.Va., for lunch.

After lunch math students will dress up like Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves and give out a toy to each child.

“A lot of those kids don’t get out for a meal,” said Misty Wood, math teacher and honor society sponsor. “Last year a little girl looked up at the girl who was taking her around and said ‘I got to go shopping and Santa Claus brought me a present. This was the best day ever.’

Wood has found the outing gives the school experience a new dimension for her students.

“A lot of times your top students get a little too wrapped up in academics,” she said. “This gives them a wake-up call that grades aren’t the most important thing.”