GUY — Students at Guy-Perkins are learning budgeting skills as well as putting others before themselves this holiday season while getting the opportunity to shop on campus.
The T-Bird Holiday Shoppe has opened its doors to students of Guy-Perkins School District for the fourth year.
Nurse Shannon Bradford, who is also involved with the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, said the holiday shop teaches students how to manage money while giving them the opportunity to give back to each other.
The on-campus shop allows students to pick out gifts for family members, without worrying about their gifts being seen prior to being opened on Christmas Day.
"It gives them the opportunity to buy something that doesn’t cost a whole lot," she said. It comes from them, it’s something they picked out and they get the joy to surprise their brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles and whoever they want to buy for. That’s the main thing."
The store opened its doors to students Wednesday and will remain open through Dec. 20.
Parent volunteers are on site to assist children as they shop for their teachers, family and friends. There are more than 50 different items to choose from, ranging from $0.25 to $10.
Lacey Wilson, third grader Cooper Wilson’s mom, who also substitutes and volunteers at the school, said the T-Bird Holiday Shoppe gets students in the holiday spirit.
"It helps them think of others and think about giving to their parents," she said. "They have a lot of fun doing this. They enjoy being able to give back."
The holiday shop gives students more than one opportunity to give back. While they are selecting items to give to their teachers, family and friends, they are also channeling money into funds that support local families.
Money spent purchasing gifts goes back into PTO, Bradford said. The funds are used to offset costs for Santa’s Helpers, a group that purchases Christmas gifts for local families in need.
"In a way, they are giving back to their fellow students," she said.
Starr Lane, the school’s eSchool Coordinator, said students are also participating in a food drive to send holiday food boxes home to less-fortunate families.
"Our goal was for elementary and high school students to collect 500 food items each [for a total of 1,000]," Lane said.
Elementary students were promised new playground toys, including kick balls and basketballs, while high school students were promised a glow-in-the-dark pep rally, should they reach their 500-item goal.
Students began collecting food last week, with both the elementary and high school students each surpassing their 500-item goals within the first few days.
"We like to give back around here and teach our kids to give back also," she said.
The holiday shop will also be open from 7-8:30 p.m. Dec. 18, following the school’s Christmas Music Program.