Approximately 50 children and their parents from two Citrus College student service programs that support economically and educationally disadvantaged students were provided a festive holiday experience that included a visit from Santa Claus and a bag full of gifts during the 4th Annual Adopt an Angel celebration on Dec. 5.
Hosted by the college’s Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility for Kids (CalWORKs) programs, the event allowed members from the campus community to “adopt” one of the 42 “angels,” who are children of the students in the programs. They were then treated to arts and crafts activities, gifts, snacks and pictures with Santa.
“Having the Citrus College community come together every holiday season to help our students and their children is truly heartwarming” said Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D. “I want to thank our staff, volunteers and contributors, without whom this event and the joy that it brings to these families wouldn’t be possible.”
Since the event’s inception in 2010, approximately 100 student parents from the CARE and CalWORKS programs and their children have benefited from the generous time and gifts that faculty, staff and students donate.
“We host this program to show our students that the Citrus College community is supportive, caring and believes in their ability to be successful,” said Sara Gonzales-Tapia, director of the Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS) Department, CARE and CalWORKs. “Our students may not always have the means to provide gifts for their children during the holidays, so this is an uplifting and happy occasion for all involved.”
Citrus College’s CARE and CalWORKs programs help students from disadvantaged backgrounds successfully complete their educational goals.
To encourage literacy among the students and their children, the theme of the holiday event was “Season’s Reading.” In the spirit of the theme, students were given age-appropriate books and participated in story time, which was led by counseling faculty member Dorothy Jean Hays from the EOPS/CARE Department.
“We encourage students to bring their children to campus so that they may begin to make the connection that their mom/dad attends college,” Gonzales-Tapia said. “We want the parents to instill in their children the importance of education and that they, too, will go to college.”
Dr. Patricia Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, called the event outstanding. “This is truly exemplary of the spirit of generosity and kindness we have within the Citrus College community,” she said.