Spreading Christmas cheer

By Keith Strange Staff Reporter

December 26, 2013

DOBSON — It is a chance to teach an important life lesson while at the same time spreading a little Christmas cheer.

For the ninth year in a row, children in the elementary and middle schools in the county created nearly 350 Christmas cards that were distributed to children in Brenner’s Children’s Hospital last week, and organizers of the project say the effort is a chance to help those less fortunate.

“We do this as a way to brighten the holiday season, because these are children in the hospital who can’t be home for the holidays with their families, so this is an effort for children in Surry County to spread a little Christmas cheer during the season,” said Celena Watson with Surry County Parks and Recreation.

This year, county youth made 348 Christmas cards. “I counted every single one of them,” Watson said with a laugh.

But the lessons learned go far beyond crayons, markers and construction paper.

“This is a chance for the students in Surry County to reach out to children who may not be as fortunate as they are,” Watson said. “With them taking the time to make the cards, it sends out a message loud and clear that there are children out there who are not as fortunate as they are, children who are hurting and often fighting for their very lives.”

This year, nine county schools participated with students in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades making cards.

The cards were collected from the schools and judged, with first, second and third prizes, and two honorable mentions, awarded for each school.

“The cards were put on display at Mayberry Mall for a couple of weeks so the public would have a chance to view them, and last Thursday they were taken to Brenner’s,” Watson said.

The best overall card in the fifth grade category was awarded to Ashely Sewell from Mountain Park Elementary School.

The sixth-grade overall winner was Yareli Hernandez-Bautista from Gentry Middle School.

Anna Burcham of Gentry Middle School was awarded the overall prize in the seventh grade category.

Each overall winner will receive a plaque that will be presented to them when school resumes in January.

At the individual school level, winning students in each grade level will receive certificates. They are:

White Plains Elementary School:

1 – Katie Alvear

2- Mason Melton

3- Daisy Sanabria

HM – Lizabeth Majica

HM - Tyler Grant

Franklin Elementary School:

1 - Caroline Mills

2 – Isaac Riggs

3 – Maire McCraw

HM – Kaylie Paul

HM – Anna Gammons

Dobson Elementary School:

1 – Natalia Guerrero

2 – Jacelyn Avila

3 – Brooke Mosley

HM – Cassandra Delgado

HM – Taylor Newman

Cedar Ridge Elementary School:

1 – Vanessa Arellano

2 – McKensie Bare

3 – Landon Wright

HM – Emily Tate

HM – Magen Thompson

Rockford Elementary School:

1 – Hannah Marie Lee More

2 – Chelsey Atkins

3 – Christian Wood

Flat Rock Elementary School:

1 – Lacy Goins

2 – Kaite Hooker

3- Melody Marting

HM – Carley Freeman

HM – Maddie Combs Marshall

Mountain Park Elementary School:

1 - Erica Rodriquez

2 – Christine Garza

3- Jessica Holt

HM – Jacqueline Guadarrana

HM – Mariela Loa

Pilot Mountain Middle School:

1 - Joelle Sech

2 - Sydney Beck

3 – Victoria Summers

HM – Muhammod Tahir

HM – Alyssa McHone

Gentry Middle School: 6th grade

1 - Lee Bunker

2 – Benji Edwards

3 – Ashley Broome

HM – Melody Montgomery

HM – Nicholas Wood

Gentry Middle School: 7th grade

1 – Landon Strickland

2 – Kali Sawyers

3 – Lance Mosley

HM – Katie Tate

HM – Ethan Evans

Reach Keith Strange at or 719-1929.