PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — While children enjoy receiving gifts for Christmas, they also like giving them, but it isn’t always easy for little ones to shop for their family and friends.
That task, however, is going to be easier this year thanks to the efforts of the Presque Isle Elementary PTO.
Santa’s Workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Pine Street Elementary School. The event is open to any student up through fifth grade in Aroostook County.
“Santa’s Workshop is a chance for children up through fifth grade to purchase gifts for their friends and family for the coming holidays,” said Mel Junkins, Zippel Elementary School chairman of the PTO. “Children will be able to select from hundreds of gift items priced from 25 cents to $3. We wanted to keep it affordable so all kids could come in and shop for everyone on their list. They can also have all their gifts wrapped on-site for free.”
Junkins said gift items were purchased online from several retailers.
“We have items for everyone — Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles,” she said. “We have back scratchers, coffee mugs, jewelry, whoopee cushions, inflatable animals and much, much more.”
Chaperones will help the children with their wish lists, so they will be able to shop without their parents finding out what they will receive for Christmas.
“We have approximately 30 Presque Isle High School students who will walk around with anybody who needs assistance,” said Junkins. “But they’re more intended to help out the kindergarten to grade two crowd. We’re going to give the high school students a wish list that Mom or Dad or whomever filled out that says, for example, the child can spend $3 on Mom, or $2 on their brother, and then the chaperones will go around and help the little ones shop.”
Zippel Elementary and Pine Street Elementary have their own stocking that teachers have been filling with goodies for the kids. Raffle tickets for the stockings are $1 each, and winners will be drawn that day. School T-shirts also will be raffled.
Families will be able to enjoy a bite to eat at Santa’s Workshop, as well. Area businesses have donated chili, hot dogs, baked goods, hot chocolate and coffee that will be on sale.
In addition, Santa will visit with the children from 9 a.m. to noon.
Junkins said she hopes to realize $2,000 from the Santa’s Workshop fundraiser. Proceeds will allow the PTO to continue to provide items for the classrooms, as well as special programs for the students.
“While Santa’s Workshop is sponsored by the P.I. Elementary PTO,” said Junkins. “It’s really meant for any student in The County up through grade five. We have posters up in outlying towns advertising it. You don’t have to be a student in SAD 1 to attend. It’s a communitywide event that’s meant to spread some holiday cheer.”