FAIRFIELD — Fairview Elementary School kindergartner Kiyanni Evangilista didn’t hesitate when naming her favorite part of Wednesday’s Christmas party.
“Santa was here,” she said.
Santa came from NorthBay Healthcare and left plenty of gifts at the school. Kiyanni pointed to her desk, where she had such things as a coloring book, jewelry box and Hello Kitty shoes.
All 20 children in teacher Laura Gay’s class received shoes. The NorthBay crew initially suggested buying coats, but Gay had noticed that while the children had coats, some had shoes that were too small.
Tracing of the children’s feet provided the shoe sizes, said Teresa Urbano of NorthBay Healthcare.
NorthBay Healthcare’s various departments adopted classes at Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield and Padan Elementary School in Vacaville for this Christmas. Employees in the departments made donations to give the classroom supplies from each teacher’s wish list and put on a Christmas party for the children.
The health information management and the revenue cycle departments adopted Gay’s class. Besides gifts to the children, they gave the classroom such things as Play-Doh.
Urbano seemed as happy as the children with the event.
“The holiday spirit,” she said. “How can you argue when you see the looks on their faces, when you see the smiles and hear the cheers?”
Meanwhile, Gay searched for the words to describe her feelings, given the financial needs of some of the children in her class. The Fairview Elementary School accountability report card says that 88.4 percent of the school’s population is socioeconomically disadvantaged.
“I’m just so moved by the generosity of NorthBay,” Gay said.
In another classroom, the NorthBay finance department brought pizza and juice boxes to teacher Kristy Neal’s kindergarten class. After the 18 children ate, Tomiko Barnes and Kasey Harris-Smith presented the class as a whole with laptop dry-eraser boards, puzzles, books and Sesame Street videocassettes on numbers and letters, among other things.
“Who likes Cinderella?” Barnes said as she held up a book on that topic.
Several of the girls thrust their hands in the air. The Spider-Man and monkey books got a better reception from the boys.
“I love monkeys,” one boy said.
Plus, the NorthBay crew left behind cheese crackers and other snacks.
“Half our kids don’t come with any type of snack whatsoever,” Neal said. “That will be a big, exciting thing for them. . . . They’re fun kids to bless because they’re really appreciative.”
Principal David Marianno said NorthBay Healthcare is doing more than putting on Christmas parties in the classrooms. It is giving the types of items that will be used in classrooms every day, such as printers and ink cartridges.
“It’s a pretty amazing day for us,” Marianno said. “It’s humbling to know in today’s economy their employees are willing to sacrifice for kids they don’t even know.”
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.