Kids finish last-minute holiday shopping

Meadow View Elementary School kindergartener Drake Hibbard shops for his family members at the school's Santa shop on Dec. 19. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Kindergarteners in April Brower’s class at Meadow View Elementary School couldn’t contain their smiles when they walked through the door of the school’s Santa shop on Dec. 19.

MVES PTO members explained the color-coded pricing system as the kids excitedly counted their money and eyed the plethora of items spread across the room.

“They get very excited, especially the kindergarteners, because it’s their first time,” said PTO President Lee Ann Ponstein. “They will come in and say ‘Wow’ when they see everything.”

In the week leading up to the school’s Christmas break, PTO volunteers manned the Santa shop to give nearly 1,000 kids a one-stop location to check off everyone on their Christmas lists. Ponstein said popular items were jewelry, gloves, snow globes, Auburn and Alabama-themed items and tool sets. The tables also were lined with everything from bath and body items and pet toys to coloring books and hats.

The Santa shop serves as one of the PTO’s biggest fundraisers each year, and helps to raise money to provide classroom grants and provide computer aides and school tutors.