Blessings Come From Adopted Classes
NorthBay elves put smiles on the faces of children and teachers in 62 classrooms as they descended on Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield and Padan Elementary School in Vacaville last week to host holiday parties. Children from kindergarten to sixth-grade feasted on pizza, opened gifts and cheered as their classroom supplies were unveiled. Padan Ele-mentary School sixth-graders received a special gift – a hefty check to help many of them attend science camp.
“This is an education opportunity that every sixth-grader should have,” said a thankful Padan Principal Sylvia Rodriguez. “But some kids here just can’t ask their parents for the money, it’s too much of a burden on them.”
Santa was by far, the best part of the day. At Fair -view, two Santas were spotted, aka, Dr. Terry Van Aken and Jeff Patrick, husband of HIM coder Brooke Patrick.
The most poignant story at the Fairfield school came from Laura Gay’s kindergarten class. Throughout the year, she had noted that several children had shoes that were either too big or too small, and many times they asked if they could take their shoes off because their feet hurt, revealing socks with holes. Some stu -dents were homeless, living with their families in cars.
Another child’s family was losing their house. For fami-lies with big problems, shoes are not a priority. Accord -ing to the Fairview’s accountability report card, 88.4 percent of the school’s population is socioeconomically disadvantaged.
When the departments that adopted Gay’s class heard the story, they knew just what to do: Buy the entire class new shoes and socks! Thanks to the com -bined efforts of Health Information Management and Revenue Cycle Management, 20 boxes of shoes from Vans were given to the students, with all but one pair being the right size. The classroom was showered with gifts and the delighted teacher held up box after box of paints, Playdough, and games.
Fairview Principal David Marianno marveled at NorthBay’s generosity.
“With the economy as it is, it’s amazing that NorthBay employees are willing to give gifts to children they don’t even know,” he said.
For the check presentation at Padan, Vacaville Unified School Superintendent John Niederkorn came to watch the festivities and hear a speech by student body president Andres Alvarado, who told the NorthBay delegation of President and CEO Gary Passama, Vice President of Public Affairs Steve Huddleston and Executive Assistants Sylvia Spanos and Debbie Hooks that, “This will really help.”
The parties took place during a two-week period, with classrooms getting everything from pizza to hotdogs, cupcakes to brownies.
In Cynthia Farrell’s first-grade classroom, each child was given a stuffed animal, courtesy of the Nut Tree North Center for Primary Care.
“It has been so much fun,” said Sue Graham, Medical Assistant, who noted that it was the first time she’d participated
in the Adopt-a-School program, now in
its eighth year.
Dr. Amber Sterlin agreed. “I love doing this kind of thing, it’s wonderful.” Dressed as an elf with stripped socks and a Santa hat, Dr. Sterlin made the rounds with cupcakes and took time to talk to each child. “It means so much that these healthcare professionals took time out of their busy day to come to my classroom and host a party. Wow! The kids are really impressed,” said Mrs. Farrell. “We feel so very blessed.”