Seminole County schools working to ensure 1,500 students have happy holidays

Giving Tree is an annual collection of donated gifts for economically disadvantaged students

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Workers with Seminole County Public Schools began filling student wish lists on Monday, which was the last day to drop off donations for the Giving Tree program.

“We have banded together with the community partners, as well as our social work division, and we are making wishes come true, Program Specialist Aja Smith said.”

The Giving Tree is an annual collection of donated toys, bicycles, beauty products and other holiday gifts for homeless and economically disadvantaged students, SCPS said.

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“It’s not just about what happens inside the classroom,” School Board Member Autumn Garick said.  “We need to make sure our students are supported outside the classroom.  Happy, well-adjusted kids come to school eager to learn.”

This year, organizers said they had a goal of providing holiday magic for 1,500 students.

“I believe it brings relief that they are able to have the support from their district, so they can focus on some of the more paramount needs of their households,” Smith said.

All donations, which were due to the Educational Support Center by Monday at 3 p.m., will be distributed this week.

For further details about SCPS Giving Tree, click here.

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Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.