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Santa breakfast benefits Carlynton School District program

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:31 p.m.

The season of giving will extend far beyond Christmas for Carlynton School District. But there's no reason not to enlist Santa Claus' help so long as he's around.

Carlynton will host a Breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday as a fundraiser for the district's upcoming Food4Kids backpack program.

Growing across the country, Food4Kids is an initiative designed to help needy families by providing students every week with nondescript backpacks containing food stuffs, such as peanut butter, canned goods, pasta and vegetables.

“When kids are in school, we want to make sure they're focused on learning and not how hungry they are,” said Tracy Post, a social studies teacher at the high school, who organizes many of the district's fundraisers.

The breakfast will be held in the high school cafeteria and will feature a variety of hot foods. Far more is on the agenda, though, with basket raffles, coloring contests and cookie decorating being part of the festivities.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

“It's going to be a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to it,” Post said. “We want to get some startup money for the program, because we have to get the bags and set up a food pantry.”

There also will be a DJ on hand, as well as scheduled performances from Karen Prunzik's Broadway Dance Studio and the high school choir and ensembles. And, yes, Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to town.

“We're having a North Pole post office for kids to drop off a letter for Santa,” Post said. “It's Dec. 8, so they'll have plenty of time for Santa to reply.”

For $2, parents can guarantee that reply with a custom letter from Santa. Pictures with St. Nick are $4, while the craft room activities are $1.

Post said the district hopes to have Food4Kids started as early as the end of January. Other fundraisers and food drives are on the horizon to help get the program off the ground.

The number of students to be given backpacks is still uncertain, though Post said the district's recent Thanksgiving basket drive affected “30 to 40” families.

“As of right now, we know those people who applied,” she said. “We're going to take a look at people who may not have applied and are in need throughout the district.

“It's a delicate situation. A lot of families may not want to admit they're in that situation.”

Dan Stefano is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dstefano@tribweb.com or 412-388-5816.

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