Elementary students looking forward to upcoming holiday traditions

“It was really fun and got me in the Christmas spirit and helped me have fun during break.” -Regan Easter. 

Every year, Helen A. Hansen Elementary puts on a number of activities and holiday traditions for the kids. While all holiday activities are amazing, the pre-winter break traditions are always the favorite, year after year. 

According to Savannah Swestka, the Hansen principal, Hansen’s building leadership team—one teacher from each grade level and Swestka—gets together and decides if they want to change or continue with Hansen’s holiday traditions.

Regarding Hansen’s holiday traditions, Swestka said, “Hansen students enjoy a pajama day and school-wide movie on the last day of school before winter break. We also enjoy our fifth and sixth grade chorus performance followed by a school-wide sing-a-long. As a Partner in Education with MercyOne, Hansen sponsors a tree at the annual Festival of Trees hosted at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. The decorations on the sponsored tree are created by Hansen students.”

Kendra Bumblauskas, the Hansen PTA president, has been in her role for about one and a half years, but she’s been a part of the PTA for way longer. Regarding the Festival of Trees, she said that proceeds from the event have been previously used for renovations, medical equipment and improved services. 

The traditions at Hansen have been “established for years and have not changed in the six years Swestka has been a principal at Hansen.” While all holiday activities are enjoyed by the students, Swestka said that student’s favorite traditions are “pajama day and a school-wide movie.”

Students who have moved on from Hansen still reminisce about their favorite traditions, some of these students being freshman Elle Smith and Reagan Easter. Smith’s favorite tradition was “on the last day before break when we would all wear our pajamas and bring our blankets to school.” Easter’s favorite tradition was when, “we got free food and drinks and got to bring blankets.” 

Both girls can’t remember anything about Hansen’s traditions and activities that weren’t enjoyable, except, of course, waiting for the Winter Party at the end of the day. Smith said, “We still had to do math when we knew we got to eat cookies for the last hour of school.”

Current Hansen students are getting excited for the upcoming events. First grader Becca Mott has been waiting for these activities since the beginning of the school year. 

Mott’s favorite activity is a little bit under the school-wide radar. She looks forward to playing in the snow during recess and having snowmen building competitions. According to Mott, she also likes to “draw snowmen on paper.” She especially enjoys this activity because this occurs during regular class time, not during art class. 

While there haven’t been any new school-wide Hansen traditions, Mott is perfectly happy with the current activities she gets to do, in her class and with the whole school.

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