| Dec 17, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - December 17, 2009 Festival of Trees lights up Harrowsmith PSby Julie Druker

HPS students light up at their annual Festival of Trees ceremony on Dec.10

The opening ceremonies of the second annual Festival of Trees celebration took place at Harrowsmith Public School on Dec. 10 and the gym was alight with close to 20 trees, one decorated by each class at the school. Representatives from each class presented their themed trees in the event whose goals Principal Jim Horan explained this way:

“Our goal as a school is to come together to share in the holiday season of giving to those who are less fortunate in South Frontenac and we do that by collecting as many non-perishable foods and as we possibly can to fill a pickup truck in the showroom of Revell’s (in Verona).”

Members of the community also purchase tickets to bid on the close to 20 trees decorated by the students, which were then raffled off the following day. The funds collected will be shared between the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church for their voucher program and St. Paul’s United Church in Harrowsmith for their Christmas food hamper program. All of the food collected will be donated to the local food bank.


Special guests who attended the opening ceremony included Trustee McLaren of the Board of Trustees with the LDSB and Director of Education Mrs. Hunter also from the LDSB. Detachment commander Ouellette of the OPP had the privilege of lighting the school’s main tree during the ceremony. Six university teacher candidates from Queen’s University also participated in the event and led a festive carol sing-along.

Principal Horan introduced the Festival of Trees event to HPS for the first time last year. He explained, “It’s a way for the school to be part of the community and I think its very important for young people to understand that there are less fortunate people living in their community. It’s also an opportunity for our students to learn the joy of giving which in lots of ways is more important than receiving. We hope that students come to see that a great deal of comfort and happiness can be acquired through giving to those in need.”

On Friday, Dec. 11 as part of their character education program grade 8 students from the school made a trip into Harrowsmith village and walked door to door to collect more food donations for the event. Horan pointed out that this kind of experience is an important one, especially for older students. “It gives our grade eight students the opportunity to learn a lot about volunteerism, themselves and their place in society. They learn that when they do something from the heart that it can be a very meaningful, enriching and rewarding experience.”

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