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'Frosty' warms hearts with books donation
It was more than just magic in that old silk hat as Nancy Young's first-grade students brought "Frosty the Snowman" alive with a spirited performance for classmates at O.C. Johnson School.
On Friday, the day before Christmas break, Young's class treated their fellow students to a charming rendition of "Frosty the Snowman," as well as "I Share" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
Students performed wearing "Frosty" sweatshirts with carrot nose and coal smile emblazoned on shirt fronts, inspired by the hit song of 1950 written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson.
Young helped students make the sweatshirts themselves, but rather than just exchange season's greetings, she wanted to involve them in a community service project. So her students collected about 100 new books to donate to Amberly's Place.
"I wanted my students to learn how to share and help others in need because that's what I teach all year long, in combination with everything else."
Young added that Amberly's Place is often in the media, so she knows that the agency touches many people in need. She also said she wanted to donate books because it is important for children to improve reading skills, promote literacy in the community and among those less fortunate.
Young's students had been rehearsing twice a day for the previous weeks and were confident in class. But once they got on stage, some of them confessed to having stage fright, so they all settled down with deep-breathing exercises.
"I thought they did very well. I tried to keep it fairly simple," the teacher said. "But all the songs we do connect to all the academic goals we have for the year."
Annie Dickson, 6, said her favorite song was "Frosty."
"I had a lot of fun, but I didn't get nervous because I do a lot of singing at home," she said.
Jose Martinez, father of Sebastian, another performer, said the book collection was a great idea and taught the children the importance of sharing.
"I though all the kids did a great job, especially mine," Martinez said.
Chip Snyder, Children's Justice Project coordinator for Amberly's, said the book donation means a great deal to the agency.
Snyder noted that Amberly's helps far more than just young adult women, but also many children of families who are victims of domestic violence.
"It's always wonderful to see young people perform, especially at this time of the year," Snyder said. "I really appreciate the efforts of Ms. Young, the children and their parents giving to a great cause."