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Santa’s Workshop teaches Shady Valley students about sharing

Christmas stories for children tell us that Santa works at the North Pole. He has elves that make the toys in Santa’s Workshop that Santa delivers on Christmas Eve. However, the North Pole is not the only place where Santa has a workshop.
In a remote valley in North East Tennessee there has been a Santa’s Workshop for over 30 years. It happens each December just before the big day where the students of the little rock school enjoy what has become a celebrated tradition of shopping for family and friends. At this workshop, the focus is on learning to share by making purchases and buying presents for family members and friends.
This started a long time ago when the staff at Shady Valley Elementary School saw a need to help the students of this very rural area have the experience of Christmas shopping for others. Older students work with the students in lower grades to make decisions about what would be right for those on their list; this allows the upper grade students decision making experiences in interpersonal ways. The younger students make up their list and shop for each learning how to choose something for another family member or friend. The older students then do the calculating and practice their math to be sure the shopper is within budget. They then go to the checkout line for wrapping.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.