DSC_8598This holiday season, Hope students met Santa, his reindeer and got the chance to sing about it.

In preparation for the arrival of St. Nick, the gym was transformed into a winter wonderland Tuesday, Dec. 9 as Santa and Mrs. Claus met with students to find out what they want for Christmas. Students sat on Santa’s lap and told him their wish list while their photos were taken.

The event also featured refreshments and games, including a bean bag toss. The party gave students the chance to have fun and practice social skills.

The day before, students and staff members got the chance to meet and take pictures with Prancer the Reindeer in the gym. The reindeer came from Nolan’s Petting Zoo and Live Reindeer in Eldred, IL. The visit from Prancer helped students gain confidence and added a new sensory experience.

The Rochester Lions Club held its annual Christmas party Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Hope gym. Twenty-five students attended the event and each received a gift from the club. One of the club members also played the piano and sang Christmas carols at the event, which has occurred for more than 30 years!

The campus gym was full of smiles and the sounds of Christmas carols for the annual Hope Christmas Sing & Play Along on Friday, Dec. 19. Led by music therapist Karen Herzel on the keyboard, staff members played instruments and sang songs about the spirit of Christmas. Students were encouraged to sing along and were given bells and other instruments to participate in the show.

Christmas for students at Hope would not be nearly as merry without the support of many generous donors and community organizations. Thank you for your support of the children of Hope!

The Hope Institute for Children and Families
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