Nearing noon Monday at Berkeley Elementary, a line of giddy 4-year-old kindergartners waited anxiously to meet Santa Claus and tell him what they want for Christmas.
Some students were shy about talking to him. Others were pretty open about what they would like to see under their tree on Christmas Day – a BB gun was one, a construction set was another.
“Santa Claus” said he has heard everything from a baby doll to “a big car that they could drive” (and that particular student also claimed to have a driver’s license when Santa asked).
After telling Santa what they would like for Christmas, he’d scoop the little ones up for an individual photo against a cozy backdrop of a lit-up Christmas tree inside a house.
Berkeley Elementary boasts about 750 students. Every year, each and every one of them gets to meet Santa Claus, who is a well-known local Santa and prefers to go by “Santa.”
Santa Claus has been visiting Berkeley Elementary annually for close to 23 years. His visits have been ongoing ever since his granddaughter, Maggie Gass, was a first-grader at the school. She now teaches second grade.
Berkeley Elementary’s two-day visit with Santa Claus is a fundraising event organized by the Berkeley Elementary PTO. Parents have the option to purchase a photo of their child with Santa.
For Santa, it’s a fun two days full of visiting with children at a school that is “just one big family.”
“It’s the joy of seeing the children,” he said.
Berkeley Elementary’s photos with Santa Claus was just one of many holiday-related events going on this month in Berkeley County School District – from Devon Forest Elementary’s staff caroling on Dec. 10, to Cane Bay High’s debut of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 19, to H.E. Bonner Elementary opening a “Santa shop” Dec. 9-13.
Be sure to check out the Berkeley County School District website for coverage on upcoming events.