Adalynn Janveaux hangs a Christmas ornament, with the help of teacher Christine Scott, on a tree branch near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Adalynn Janveaux hangs a Christmas ornament, with the help of teacher Christine Scott, on a tree branch near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack Central students learn community outreach is giving and receiving

Downtown elementary school pivots on traditional Christmas activities in face of pandemic rules

It’s been a year of change in schools, and that’s been especially true around beloved Christmas events.

At Chilliwack Central elementary, one of the long-standing traditions is a turkey dinner for their families. Since that would not be in line with the provincial health orders, but is such an important part of the school’s outreach, they decided to find a new way to share a meal with everyone.

Instead of the usual meal and gathering at the school, the ingredients for a healthy family meal were sent off with students to bring home. The packages included pancake mix, sausages, oranges, juice and more.

Parcels of food for a full family breakfast have gone home to Chilliwack Central elementary families, to spread some holiday cheer this season. (Leslie Waddington/ Submitted)

Parcels of food for a full family breakfast have gone home to Chilliwack Central elementary families, to spread some holiday cheer this season. (Leslie Waddington/ Submitted)

“It’s definitely a year of doing things differently,” said Chilliwack Central’s principal Leslie Waddington. “But to our surprise some wonderful ideas and things have happened.”

The meal packages sent home were put together with partners, the Central Community Society, Freshco and the Monarch Lions Club. They also had the help of some volunteer students from Chilliwack secondary school to help with the logistics of packing all that food up.

Every single family at the school has received a package, or has one still coming to them.

Waddington says the school always receives generous support from the community, and that the giving from the community echoes the school’s own core values.

One family, the Aarts, has stepped up and will be providing an individual packed lunch for each student and staff member, in lieu of their annual turkey lunch.

Chilliwack Central elementary staff and volunteers are working at finding different ways of celebrating the holidays with their students and their families this year, as the pandemic has forced the cancellation of many long-running traditions at the school. (Leslie Waddington/ Submitted)

Chilliwack Central elementary staff and volunteers are working at finding different ways of celebrating the holidays with their students and their families this year, as the pandemic has forced the cancellation of many long-running traditions at the school. (Leslie Waddington/ Submitted)

They also have a mitten tree in the school, which is full of hats, scarves, and of course, mittens, that anyone can take from if needed. That was donated by the Goldwing Road Riders Club and a former parent.

And Rollie Lacompte, who has given to the school in the past with his wife, Jean, has also donated to the school this year. Jean passed away in the spring, but Rollie continues to give.

“We are given to very generously by our community – the list is long,” Waddington says. “We also try to teach our students that they have lots to give as well.”

A tag on the ornament reads “A small gift for you to keep! We hope it brightens your day. Your friends at Central elementary.” It is one of many Christmas ornaments that Central elementary students have placed in their neighbourhood around the school. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A tag on the ornament reads “A small gift for you to keep! We hope it brightens your day. Your friends at Central elementary.” It is one of many Christmas ornaments that Central elementary students have placed in their neighbourhood around the school. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

And that means the students have been doing some outreach too. Literally.

They have been going around the downtown area of Chilliwack over the past few days, leaving ornaments around for others to find. The ornaments are free to take home and enjoy, and the kids have learned about giving selflessly.

Waddington says the small tokens are just meant to brighten people’s days.

Teacher Christine Scott helps a student hang a Christmas ornament on a nail near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Teacher Christine Scott helps a student hang a Christmas ornament on a nail near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Ivett Herrera Werneburg hangs a Christmas ornament on some holly near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Ivett Herrera Werneburg hangs a Christmas ornament on some holly near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Kira Rivet walks away after hanging her Christmas ornament on a fence near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Kira Rivet walks away after hanging her Christmas ornament on a fence near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A Christmas ornament hangs on some holly near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A Christmas ornament hangs on some holly near Central elementary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

READ MORE: Chilliwack’s oldest school, Central elementary, celebrates 90 years

READ MORE: Chilliwack volunteer recognized for 20 years at Central elementary


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Chilliwack School DistrictChristmas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. (File photo)
UPDATE: 2 cougars killed following attack in Harrison Mills

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

....
Abbotsford graphic designer pitches Flyers rebrand for AHL team

Alex Svarez suggests new affiliate team turns back the clock and brings back Flyers moniker

Mike Haire, a former vice-principal at W. A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford, began court proceedings on Monday, May 3 in New Westminster for two child pornography offences.
Trial paused for former Abbotsford vice-principal charged with child porn

Judge reserves decision on admissibility of evidence against Mike Haire

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen is now under investigation from the Vancouver Police Department following sexual misconduct allegations. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Vancouver police investigating sexual misconduct claims against Canucks’ Jake Virtanen

Abbotsford native remains on leave with the Vancouver Canucks following recent allegations

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Meghan Gilley, a 35-year-old emergency room doctor and new mom was vaccinated from COVID-19 in January, while she was pregnant. She’s encouraging others to do the same. (Submitted)
‘The best decision’: B.C. mom encourages other pregnant women to get COVID-19 shot

Meghan Gilley, 35, delivered a healthy baby after being vaccinated against the virus while pregnant

Most Read