Make us your home page

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.


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.


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

  1. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest


    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  2. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House


    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  3. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  4. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty


    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.

  5. Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire 'private briefings' on 2016 campaign, report says


    Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports.

    Paul Manafort, then Donald Trump's campaign chairman, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. [Associated Press]