CVA students bring Christmas to AIDB students in need

Published 2:27 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HARPERSVILLE—For students at Coosa Valley Academy, Christmas truly is about giving. Each grade level spent the days leading up to winter vacation busily gathering presents for students in need at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

The CVA community has come together to fulfill the Christmas wishes of AIDB students for the past 12 years. The tradition was started by CVA Headmaster Pamela Lovelady, who taught at AIDB for 25 years.

“When you teach there…not only are you their teacher, you become their mom,” Lovelady said, noting AIDB is both a residential and day school. “I knew they had a great need. A lot of parents were unable to give their kids the things they wanted and needed.”

Every year, CVA’s 12 kindergarten through 12th grade classes each adopt an AIDB student. The receive a wish list from the children, then set out to make those wishes come true. Some of the requests are big, such as bikes and dollhouses, but some of the requests are simple, such as socks, CVA teacher and student government association supervisor Nancy Ingram said.

“They really take ownership of it,” Ingram said, explaining students enjoy shopping for and wrapping presents. “The classes just do an awesome job of supporting it…It’s just the neatest thing to watch.”

CVA student government association members delivered the presents to AIDB on Dec. 17. They spent time with the AIDB students, unwrapping gifts and then playing with the new toys.

Throughout the process Ingram and Lovelady encourage CVA students to reflect and be thankful for the blessings in their lives.

“I would (tell students), ‘You are blessed, God blesses us so we can bless other people,’” Ingram said.

After 12 years of helping to bring Christmas to AIDB, the CVA community has become attached to the school and its students.

“Once you go (to AIDB), you want to go back,” Ingram said. “It touches you.”

“The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind will change your life,” Lovelady added. “It definitely changed mine.”