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Deck the halls

Timothy Conley, a student at Dawson-Bryant Elementary School, helps decorate the Christmas tree Tuesday at the Jae Roush Community Building building.

Timothy Conley, a student at Dawson-Bryant Elementary School, helps decorate the Christmas tree Tuesday at the Jae Roush Community Building building.

Dawson-Bryant students continue tradition

COAL GROVE — Fifth-graders from Dawson-Bryant Elementary adorning a Christmas tree with ornaments at the Jae Roush building at Paul Porter Park has become somewhat of a ritual.

“For the past 15 years the students decorating the tree has always been the unofficial start of parade week,” Vickie McDaniel, president of the Coal Grove Betterment Club, said. “We always decorate the tree the Tuesday or Wednesday before the parade, which is on Friday.”

All fifth-graders at Dawson-Bryant Elementary spent this past week coloring and cutting out ornaments and the students who were chosen to decorate the tree were brought by bus to the building.

“We made a lot of ornaments,” Cody Reynolds, 11, said. “I like it. Coming down here has been fun.”

The Coal Grove Betterment Club treated the students to cookies, chips and juice when decorating was complete.

“The food is good, too,” Reynolds said. “Free food is always good no matter what it is.”

Fifth-grade teacher Lee Ann Cremeans said the group of students selected to decorate the tree were helpful.

“They don’t mind doing this and it’s good for them,” she said. “It allows them a chance at their young ages to give back and get a sense of community.”

When the decorating and eating concluded the students went to Sunset Nursing Center and sang Christmas carols for its residents.

The Coal Grove Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Friday. McDaniel said after the parade children can come to Paul Porter Park and have hot chocolate and cookies with Santa Claus.