HOPE - COVID-19, Bah Humbug.
The Hope Public Schools are ramping up a number of activities that will carry some holiday spirit through the month of December.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WEEK AT HAPS
The Hope Academy of Public Service campus will observe Christmas Spirit Week, Dec. 8-11, with students and faculty dressing in holiday fashion throughout the week. HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke said prizes will be awarded for the best adherence to theme each day.
--Monday gets ugly at HAPS with “Ugly Sweater Day,” paying tribute to one of the newer and quirky traditions of the season to find the absolute worst in holiday sartorial splendor.
--Tuesday steals some Christmas cheer for “Grinch Day” to reflect the You Know Who Who Stole You Know What.
--Wednesday gets warm and fuzzy with “Christmas Sock Day.”
--Thursday gets into holiday spirits of all sorts for “Christmas Character Day” to give everyone an opportunity to “be” their favorite holiday character.
--Friday gets colorful for “Candy Cane Day” to celebrate the flair of peppermint red and white.
STOP TREES CEREMONY
Five trees from the cypress, myrtle, maple, oak and poplar varieties will be planted on the playground at Clinton Primary School here Dec. 10 to inaugurate the Shade Trees on Playgrounds (STOP) program at CPS.
Trees including a Baldcypress, Natchez Crape Myrtle, Red Maple, Shumard Oak and Yellow Poplar designated for the CPS playground on the north side of the campus will be planted in a 10 a.m. ceremony.
A contest among the classes at CPS will determine names for each tree with winning classes from each grade participating in the planting ceremony for their named tree. Kindergarten classes will name the Baldcypress, first grade the Shumard Oak, second grade the Tulip Poplar, third grade the Red Maple, and fourth grade the Crape Myrtle.
SP(ELL) IT RIGHT
Clinton Primary School fourth graders will compete Dec. 15 for an opportunity to represent CPS at the Hempstead County Spelling Bee. The annual contest is sponsored statewide by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette with one representative from each of the 75 Arkansas counties competing at the state level.
HOLIDAY CHEER AT CPS
Clinton Primary School will get festive Dec. 14-17 in anticipation of the Christmas holiday break with different dress and activities.
--Monday gets Grinchy as students and faculty dress to reflect their favorite characters from the Dr. Seuss tale “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
--Tuesday gets comfy in PJs and character dress from the popular holiday story “The Polar Express.”
--Christmas parties on the CPS campus from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Wednesday bring the holiday excitement to a pinnacle.
--Thursday on Ugly Sweater Day CPS students and teachers celebrate one of the most popular of school traditions of the pre-holiday season.
THINKING OF YOU
Beryl Henry Elementary sixth grade students have undertaken a Christmas card project with a COVID-19 impact.
“We talked about reaching out to others during COVID,” BHE Principal Dr. Roy Turner said.
As a result, Dr. Turner said the sixth-grade students decided to make holiday greeting cards for residents at Heather Manor South.
“The sixth grade just finished doing 100 Christmas Cards for Heather Manor South,” he said. “Many residents have not seen their family members since March, so we did cards to let them know we were thinking about them.”
YMS FOOD DRIVE
Advisory period classes at Yerger Middle School are competing for a cause through Dec. 14 with a holiday food drive.
YMS Principal Mike Radebaugh said Yerger students will provide nonperishable food items for distribution as needed throughout the drive. Canned food items and pre-packaged goods are being collected daily, and YMS Parental Involvement Sponsor Hosea Born will declare a winning class on Dec. 14.
Radebaugh will treat the winning class to a pizza party on Dec. 15.
HOLIDAY STUDENT MEALS
Meals services for Hope Public Schools students through December will be consolidated until students return to classes on Jan. 4 after the annual Christmas break.
HPS/Aramark Food Services Director Sandra Calhoun said meals services will follow two schedules.
The week of Dec. 14 virtual student meals will be passed out Monday from 11 a.m. until noon in the Yerger Middle School bus line, Calhoun said. There will not be a Wednesday distribution because of an early out day.
Meals for students who attend on campus will be distributed Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 at each campus. Meals for all students the week of Dec. 21 will be distributed on Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at YMS, Calhoun said.
No meals will be passed out the week of Dec. 28, she said. Virtual student meals distribution will resume as usual on Monday, Jan. 4.
HAVE A SOCIALLY DISTANCED BALL
The Hope High School Bobcats, Ladycats and junior varsity basketball squads will take the floor in away games at Arkadelphia and DeQueen during the Christmas holiday break.
Varsity Bobcat and Ladycat games along with junior varsity Ladycats will be played in Arkadelphia at 5 p.m. in Arkadelphia on Dec. 18.
Ninth grade girls and boys along with eighth grade girls will play in DeQueen at 5 p.m. on Jan. 4.
Ticket availability and seating are determined by COVID-19 restrictions set by the Arkansas Activities Association in compliance with the Arkansas Department of Health.
The month of December will be a checkerboard with early dismissal days set for Dec. 16-18 at 1:15 p.m.
Flex Fridays will also be observed Dec. 11 and Dec. 18.
The Hope Public Schools Christmas Break will be observed from Dec. 21 – Jan. 1, with return to classes set for Jan. 4 for all campuses.
Hope Academy of Public Service "Ugly Christmas Sweater" winner Hosea Born sheds a little light on the holidays. -- Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools