The Polar Express comes to Ross Collins

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The hallways of Ross Collins were decked out with Christmas decorations Tuesday morning as Teacher Academy students welcomed in kindergartners to the Polar Express.

“This has been a great way for the Teacher Academy students to plan and create learning activities for the [kindergarten] students,” says Dena Patterson, the teacher academy instructor at Ross Collins.

“This is our first year, it’s our debut run and I couldn’t be more excited,” says Rob Smith, the director of Ross Collins. “I’m very proud of the students and the way that they’re giving back to the community.”

Several other classes also helped out with the event.

“We’re so excited to have this event, and certainly it started out as the brain child of Teacher Academy, and these are students who are aspiring teachers. However, our whole center has pulled together to make this event possible,” Smith says. “For example, our carpentry class has built props for the event, our welding class has made various other things. All of our programs have decorated their doors and the hallways and just made things look really good. So I am very pleased of this collaborative effort of the whole center.”

The event also serves as a way for students to give back to the elementary schools that they once went to.

“Many of our students have attended the same schools that are walking the halls this week, so this has been a great opportunity for them to give back to the community,” Patterson says.

The kids got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, participate in story time, and work with arts and crafts.

“They seem to all be really excited when they come through the event and it’s been a great week so far,” Patterson says.

The kindergarten students were also treated to brownies and cocoa with Santa.