675 Pupils Wowed
What small child wouldn't want to walk a red carpet among dancing bubbles, smiling faces and cheers as they entered a Winter Wonderland?
It was all things whimsical for more than 675 first-graders, who jumped and grinned at the sight of Elmo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Once inside, the children burned off more energy through dancing and singing during Holidays @ Hartsfield-Jackson.
"I'm enjoying everything, especially Elmo," said enthusiastic 6-year-old Calvin Allen.
Even the teachers couldn't contain their excitement. "I was just floored at how amazing everything was ... the entire presentation and how involved the volunteers are," said first-grade teacher Katy Ulrich from Hendrix Drive Unidos Dual Language Charter School.
Meeting costumed characters was just the beginning of the day, as the pupils were treated to goodie bags, snacks and entertainment from Sprinkles the Clown. Puppeteer Peter Hart dazzled the audience with dancing and singing stringed puppets, and magician D'Avante Parks performed eye-opening tricks during his interactive show. He also shared pearls of wisdom about the importance of education and treating everyone with love and respect. The teachers received gifts and shook hands with Clayton County Schools Superintendent John W. Thompson.
A Japanese consulate brought an international component to the festivities and talked about cultural holiday traditions. As a grand finale, Santa made his big entrance and took pictures with each of the schools.
Airport employees enjoyed seeing the kids' faces light up. Customer Service Supervisor Naomi Holder said, "I [volunteer] for myself because it's about the spirit of giving and volunteering. I like helping anywhere I can."
Participating schools include Deerwood Academy, Bethune Elementary, Romar Academy, Hendrix Drive Unidos Dual Language Charter School, Heritage Elementary, Lake City Elementary, E.J. Swint Elementary and Riverdale Elementary.
© 2008 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.