SPRING HILL — The pint-sized workers were bustling to finish making gifts in time for the holidays. Some wore red hats in honor of the season.
Though their workshop was in the cafeteria at Explorer K-8, and some claimed they were fifth-graders, another insisted that wasn't their actual identity.
"It's true," Kassie Coursier admitted. "We're Santa's elves."
Elves or not, the youngsters were hard at work Thursday with sticks of wood, hooks and glue. Those materials were donated by Home Depot, with advice on assembly from Pro Desk supervisor Brenda Montgomery.
"We wanted them to do something that's a bit hands-on," said teacher Stephanie Syblis. The exercise was good practice in following directions, she added.
Just what they were building remained something of a mystery, even to the elves. Though the projects were identical, their uses were many.
"It's a key chain holder," said Emma Cherubino. "For my mom and dad. Because they always lose their keys."
"I do not know," said Jacob Grantz, who thought it might hold towels. "It's possible."
"We're making holders for, like, paper or pictures or stuff," ventured Tracey Duncan.
"A note hanger," insisted Analyse Taormina.
It seemed the gifts could be almost anything.
One thing was certain, though. These were holiday gifts.
Why else would Lexie Barker be wearing that Santa hat?
"I wanted to be in the holiday spirit," she explained. "I really like the holidays."
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431