December at Castlegar High School – Castlegar News
Ah, yes, December at Stanley Humphries – the happiest two weeks of school. Everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved break. The snow is falling, people put on their winter boots, and the cafeteria becomes a slide. Believe me, you should see the entrance because everyone is rushing inside; there’s no way to ignore all this slush. Despite this, I have to say that Christmas time is the best time at SHSS.
Each year, the student council organizes a multitude of activities, as well as a Christmas assembly to create the school spirit and the bond within the building. The gingerbread house building competition was a success among the junior students. The two-day competition was about building and decorating the house in the most creative and technical way possible. It was a super fun experience for everyone.
In addition, a few senior students organized an indoor hockey tournament in which different grade levels competed in teams for two weeks. They played during lunch hours in the gymnasium, and the students came to cheer on the teams and spectators.
Finally, the student council spent weeks preparing for a Christmas assembly for the last day of school. These included activities such as building a snowflake, a scavenger hunt, Christmas carols and more. The assembly was appreciated by everyone at SH.
Stanley Humphries staff have established an annual tradition of cooking and serving breakfast for all students on the last day before break. Despite their busy schedules, they take the time to prepare delicious meals and create a lively atmosphere. The activity room is lined with tables and lights, the speakers play rousing holiday music to really put everyone in mind. The smiles on people’s faces make everything worth it for the staff. SH is a pretty lucky school, as experiences like these don’t come easily in the modern world. A spectacular breakfast coupled with the chance to mingle safely during difficult times makes for a great start to the school day.
The Class of 2022 hosted their annual Winter Flower fundraising event. As one of the biggest fundraisers of the year, seniors worked hard to reach out to local businesses, families and friends to sell beautiful poinsettias. With a supportive community like Castlegar and the surrounding area, graduates were able to sell 1,360 flowers. A whole load of semi-truck worth Chilliwack, to be exact. The senior manager and many relatives offered to help sort the flowers – it took them over ten hours. It was a busy but meaningful and enriching experience for many.
It’s the season for gifts
The Christmas season is considered the season of giving at SHSS. This is underscored by staff and student-led initiatives such as Giving Tree and Operation Feast. Once the month of December arrives, a gigantic Christmas tree is erected in the corridors of the cross. This tree is covered in tags with ages and gift ideas on it. People are encouraged to take a tag and bring a gift to put under the tree. Around the last days of school, these gifts are distributed to the children of the community. Giving gifts is one of the best ways to spread joy during the holiday season.
With heavy workloads, part-time jobs, and a lot of commuting, SHSS graduates have found the time to help the community. Over the past few years, graduates have volunteered and helped in various ways as part of their graduation program. During the holiday season, grade 12 students made over 200 Christmas cards which they handed out to seniors during the last week of school.
On December 23, a group of student volunteers gathered at the school to prepare 75 holiday meals. They spent hours preparing, cooking, portioning and delivering delicious food to grateful members of the community. SHSS would like to thank Tony and Ashley from Safeway, Steve from NoFrills and Barry from Kootenay Market for their generous donations. With the help of local grocery stores, graduates, and support from teachers, it has been possible to ensure that many people have a healthy and reliable source of food during the most special time of the year. The people at this high school are generous and selfless, and it shows through their acts of kindness.
The Green Solutions Environmental Club hosted a clothing drive focused on winter clothing and personal hygiene products. Warm winter clothing was intended for residents of Castlegar and surrounding areas who may have difficulty during difficult times. Staff and students were encouraged to rummage through their closets and donate clothes that had life in them. Over $ 450 in personal hygiene products such as shampoo, razors, toothpaste and soap were collected and donated to Community Harvest Food Bank in Castlegar. Over 700 pounds of clothing were collected and then donated to local thrift stores and a homeless shelter. The project lasted over three weeks and took a lot of time and effort from the volunteer club members.
During times like these, small communities are grateful for generous initiatives such as the donation tree, clothing drive and holiday meals. It is the exceptional and caring people at SHSS who add a pinch of warmth to many lives this holiday season.