Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pine Grove gets into shopping mode

Alysha Viveiros, 11, helps Corey Zavrel, 7, find gifts for his family at the Gingerbread House shop at Pine Grove Elementary on Friday. Alysha was one of the fifth-graders helping the younger kids with selections and adding up the purchases.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Alysha Viveiros, 11, helps Corey Zavrel, 7, find gifts for his family at the Gingerbread House shop at Pine Grove Elementary on Friday. Alysha was one of the fifth-graders helping the younger kids with selections and adding up the purchases.

BROOKSVILLE

A couple of Pine Grove Elementary School's portable classrooms became shops last week to give students a chance to get in a little Christmas shopping. Temporarily renamed Gingerbread House, the rooms were filled with products provided by Kid's Korner Gift Shoppes. The weeklong event was a fifth-grade fundraiser to help finance the class' graduation. Fifth-graders will receive a pizza party and shirts with all the students' names printed on each. The Christmas shopping opportunity seemed like a good way to raise money and provide a service to the Pine Grove students.

"We thought it would be a great idea in the school as a community to let the kids come in and shop," said fifth-grade team leader Melissa Isaksen, who oversaw the project. "The students get so excited to pick out their own presents without their parents here."

The students were able to choose from products that ranged from 35 cents to $12.85. After purchase, the gifts were put in decorative bags ready to be placed under the tree.

Selected fifth-graders, some adorned with fuzzy antlers, were on hand to help the younger students with selections and calculations. Fifth-grader Jasmine Jean-Marie, 10, recognized the schoolwork she was doing even though she wasn't in math class. "It helps you add in your head," she said.

The products were separated on tables according to price. At the high end, $12.85, there were watches and penholders with calendars on them. The next level was $11.55. Here there were eagle belt buckles, pens with matching key chains, crown necklaces and guitar clocks.

At $10.30 there were talking calculators and 11-in-one screwdriver kits. For $9, students could choose from earrings, color change clocks, "Awesome Dad" caps and wooden sailing ships.

The next category dropped to $7.70, where metal puzzles, ties, mother plaques, rings, necklaces and belts were available. The prices kept dropping to 35 cents.

What could a child buy for a dollar or less? For 65 cents, there were tiny screwdriver key chains, sports and all-star key chains, sticky sports balls and the apparently very popular egg filled with slime.

At 35 cents there were strings of plastic beads (think parade handouts), pinwheels and sticky spiders.

Fifth-grader Steven Hudson, 11, said the Gingerbread House is a good idea for teaching the children. "They're learning that they should give back," he said.

He also likes the idea of the fifth-graders assisting. "I think it's because it's more inspiring for the little kids to see older ones helping them."

Fifth-grader Erica Siri, 10, said she learned some patience during the time spent advising younger children and said the shopping reinforces what they learn in class.

"I think it's adding to us the true spirit of Christmas. It's not all getting gifts. It's about being with family and letting them know we love them. When our teachers teach us, it's also about sharing and giving respect."

Suzanne Hudson, 43, Steven's mother, volunteered at the Gingerbread House.

She agreed with her son that it's a nice opportunity for the students.

"It helps them buy gifts for their family members," she said, alluding to the higher prices of many items in regular stores.

As she watched the young shoppers, she was impressed by those who were apparently taking the opportunity to heart. "Some of them are so cute," she said. "They come in with a whole bag of change, and you know it's their money."

Pine Grove gets into shopping mode 12/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.