NorthBay Healthcare employees brought holiday cheer to 60 classrooms at Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield and Eugene Padan Elementary School in Vacaville in mid-December. Through its eighth annual Adopt-a-School Program, NorthBay chose one low-income school in each city to help through the holidays. NorthBay departments each select a classroom to “adopt,” and host the parties based on what each teacher has requested on a “wish list.”
Most classes ask for pizza parties or donuts, while gifts ranged from basic school supplies to computer printers and sweaters and gloves for students.
“This is a dream-come-true for these kids,” said Fairview Principal David Marianno. “Our students are cramming and learning like crazy and this is the only party they have all year. We really appreciate NorthBay’s support.”
He noted that in his 30-year career, he has never seen so many homeless kids coming to school cold and hungry. “The party brought tears to my eyes, but it was also very uplifting,” says Evelyn Silag, R.N., whose NorthBay Medical Center nursing unit sponsored Mary Kaduk’s third-grade class at Fairview Elementary School.
There was an extra gift for the Padan Elementary School stocking. NorthBay employees heard that the school needed to raise $30,000 to send all of its sixth-graders to science camp. To help, NorthBay presented a check for $2,000 to Padan Principal Sylvia Rodriguez, sixth-grade teacher Holly Wudel and Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent John Neiderkorn before a classroom of enthusiastic sixth-graders.
“This is so exciting,” said Holly, who is in charge of the fund-raising. “We’re working hard to raise the money so all our kids can go, and this is big!”