More than 75 Abbott Elementary School first-graders took slapshots with hockey sticks, performed reading exercises with celebrity guests and received bags of gifts from Santa Claus during the annual Delta Airlines Holiday Event on December 10.
The special event was put on by P.S. Arts, which provides students with arts education through programs and community events. Abbott students were joined for the day of fun activities by Delta partners, including Los Angeles Laker Girls, the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew and members of the local fire department.
“An event like this brings an immense amount of holiday joy to our students and sends a jolt of enthusiasm through the entire school,” Abbott Principal Kevin Cano said. “When people our children admire engage with them in meaningful ways, it lets them know they are valued and gives them confidence.”
Former LA Lakers standout A.C. Green visited classrooms and joined children in reading and writing letters to Santa Claus. Disney child star Joshua Rush also attended, much to the excitement of the children who cheered wildly.
P.S. Arts representative Gabriela Hernandez said the annual event is typically held at LAX Airport but moved to Abbott because of airport construction. The move added value for students, who welcomed the visitors to their classrooms.
The event culminated with Santa Claus making a surprise appearance and presenting students with bags filled with Lakers and Kings apparel and equipment along with drumsticks and tools to support their pursuit of the arts.
Abbott was accepted into the Turnaround Arts program in summer 2018, providing teacher training, a regional coach to facilitate Abbott’s strategic arts plan and coordinated support for public arts events. The program provides up to $10,000 in annual financial support to help ensure arts education for every Abbott student.
“Our partnership with P.S. Arts and the Turnaround Arts program has allowed our students to explore their creativity in ways that strengthen them academically and personally,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “We are thankful to Delta Airlines, P.S. Arts, the Lakers, Kings and all of the visitors who took the time to create a memorable event for our students.”