Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

The Holiday Spirit of Jefferson Jubilee

How students help give young kids a holiday experience
Theatre+junior+Kirra+Bevilacqua+and+digital+media+junior+Elysa+Escobar+help+kids+build+model+gingerbread+houses%2C+do+arts+and+crafts%2C+and+other+activities+at+the+Jefferson+Jubilee.+Members+from+Arts+Club+signed+up+to+buy+and+distribute+gifts+for+kids+in+addition+to+helping+during+the+annual+event+to+hosted+for+underprivileged+kids+from+all+over+palm+beach+county
Aiden Velez
Theatre junior Kirra Bevilacqua and digital media junior Elysa Escobar help kids build model gingerbread houses, do arts and crafts, and other activities at the Jefferson Jubilee. Members from Arts Club signed up to buy and distribute gifts for kids in addition to helping during the annual event to hosted for underprivileged kids from all over palm beach county

On most days, the media center is a quiet place for students to study; however, when winter rolls around, ornaments hang from the ceiling and presents lay around Santa’s chair for the annual Artists Reaching To Society (ARTS) Club Jefferson Jubilee.

ARTS Club worked with the Migrant Education Program to help give underprivileged elementary students a Christmas experience. The kids write a wishlist of what they would like as a gift and students are assigned to purchase them. Each child is brought one gift from “Santa” at school. Afterwards, they are sent home with three toys, two sets of clothes, and one pair of shoes that are to be put under their Christmas tree to open on Christmas.   

“Last year we were able to give a student a bed,” Migrant Education Program worker Carolyn Vickers said. “Someone here from school actually purchased a bed.”

Students and staff help out in multiple ways. Volunteers perform, set up the media center, and wrap over 800 gifts. There are over 70 kids coming from four schools: Gove Elementary School, Pioneer Park Elementary School, Canal Point Elementary School, and Pahokee Elementary School. 

“We’ve had 40 plus kids sign up to wrap up all of those gifts and organize them to make sure each kid receives a pair of shoes to complete outfits for two to four gifts,” ARTS Club sponsor and Social Studies teacher Katie Sheridan said. 

Singing a rendition of “frosty the snowman”, Vocal students had the opportunity to dress up and perform songs and other musical instruments during the Jefferson Jubilee. Members of the dance, theater, and music departments also had the opportunity to perform during the event. (Aiden Velez)

Another way students help is by performing in various art areas so that the kids have entertainment throughout the day. 

“Music is something that is always going to be there, no matter what,” vocal senior Aileen Pereda said. “It’s always something you can turn to, and it’s just great to be exposed to it at such a young age.”

Performances varied from dance excerpts from The Nutcracker,an acapella group, a jazz remix of famous winter melodies, and even a surprise visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

“We have an autistic student.He’s here today and it’s my first time seeing him smile and dance,” Vickers said. “That really touched my heart.”

Dancers, singers, and other volunteers came together to plan the Jefferson Jubilee, an event that has been going on since the mid 2000s. This Jefferson Jubilee in particular was special, since it was the 10th anniversary of the event being named after Miss Lea Jefferson. Miss Jefferson was a Social Studies teacher who started the event. 

“It involves Miss Lea Jefferson, who, unfortunately, passed away due to cancer,” ARTS club president and communications junior Jason Monaco said. “This event symbolizes all the hard work that she did for the club and by continuing to do this event we’re carrying on her legacy.” 

Mrs. Sheridan shares the same view, calling the winter season the “time of giving”.

“It’s just the best way to kick off the holiday season for me because (of) seeing the joy on their faces,” Mrs. Sheridan said. “It’s what makes the season what it is.”If you want to read more about the backstory of Jefferson Jubilee, check out The Jolly Behind the Jubilee.

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Sienna Rose Sossi is a first-year staffer and coverage staffer on The Muse. Outside of The Muse, she does debate and golf. She likes to hang out with friends and get to know other people. 
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