Since our programs began in October, we have had the privilege of partnering with several local groupswho have volunteered their time and talents for our students and their families. Last Halloween, a group of high school students from The Kinkaid School hosted a party for our Steps 2 Success students at the Belmont Village Senior Living. The Kinkaid students raised funds to provide each of our students with a brand new Halloween costume which they modeled in the costume fashion show as part of the Halloween party. The Belmont Village Residents loved our little models and cheered for all princesses, action heroes, and even a race car driver! The residents even created costumes for themselves! The party continued with a full day of trick or treating, scavenger hunts, reading, and drinking green punch! The day ended on a high note as the kids broke open a spider piñata full of treats to take home to their families. Not only did the Kinkaid students host a great party for our students, but they also come each week to read with these same students after school! What a blessing they are and we are excited to continue our partnership with them! The Young Guns from Jones Lang LaSalle partnered with us in December for a second time. Together, we took 36 Kindergarten and 1st grade students from our Reading Intervention program aboard the Polar Express at McGowen Elementary! The young professionals got into the Christmas spirit by wearing Santa and elf hats while interacting with the students, and one even surprised the children by dressing up as Santa Claus! After Santa read the timeless book, The Polar Express, students were able to visit with him, received a bell from his sleigh (just like the main character of the book) and were gifted holiday books for their home libraries. They also participated in themed activity stations such as creating and illustrating their own mini versions of The Polar Express, assembling character puzzles, playing a memory game with book images, and creating their own elf disguises. We are so honored to have worked with the Young Guns twice last year, and hope to continue our partnership with them in the future. Click here to see a short video of the event. Professionals from Xerox joined us in Steps 2 Success to celebrate Thankful Turkey Day. All students participated in a variety of literacy-rich activities designed to complement the book Ten Thankful Turkeys. Activities included creating turkey hats, writing gratitude books, and making individual pies! Students loved spending time with their new friends from Xerox and were so excited to receive a new book to take home! In addition to the new books, and a great event; Xerox also presented Making It Better with a $2500 check! We are so grateful for their support and look forward to partnering with them again in the future. Click here to see a short video of the event.