Earlier this year, the Flint Hills Church community wanted to make a positive impact in Junction City. They had many ideas on how to do that, but ultimately, they decided to adopt a school for their church to support. After careful consideration, they chose to adopt Westwood Elementary.
Flint Hills Church members wanted to do something that everyone in the school would appreciate and be able to benefit from. They also wanted to ensure it encouraged students to have school spirit, and to bring the students and staff of the school closer together. The Westwood PTO was brought in to help support the church with executing the surprise they had planned.
On Thursday, December 19th, Flint Hills Church members brought their idea and support to life at a surprise assembly for Westwood Elementary students and staff. Principal Dressman arranged to have a holiday movie played at the end of the day in the multipurpose room, so that it was easier to bring the students together without arousing suspicion about their Christmas Surprise. While the lights were turned down for the movie, Matt Wells, from Flint Hills Church, and Bridget VonSpreckelsen, of the Westwood PTO, worked quickly and quietly to carry large cloaked tables into the room. They were careful to ensure no one could see what was on those tables.
Teachers filed their classrooms in, one by one, and as the students were seated, the teachers whispered to each other trying to figure out what was happening. The children were happy to come to an assembly, but the teachers were curious about what was really going on.
The assembly began with a video, which showed a collage of photos of students and staff at Westwood from many different first-semester activities. Students were treated to pictures of themselves working hard in class, in Halloween costumes, and at performances. After the video, Principal Dressman asked all teachers to come to the front and line up on either side of her.
Finally, it was time to reveal what Flint Hills Church had been planning. Principal Dressman thanked all the teachers for their significant efforts throughout the year. Then, the curtains on the stage were pulled back to reveal Flint Hills Church and Westwood PTO members waiting. They had boxes filled with special gifts for the teachers and students.
Each teacher was presented with an insulated coffee mug filled with treats. The mugs also featured the school logo on them. Then, Principal Dressman and Matt Wells both removed their sweaters to reveal another surprise. They were both wearing very special shirts. Flint Hills made shirts with the school’s logo, a paw print, on them. However, they made a slight change by adding motivational and uplifting words into the paw. Then, they announced that they made shirts for every single teacher and student in the school, and they handed out large bags of shirts to every teacher to distribute.
Church and PTO members were available to help hand out mugs and shirts to everyone in the school. Students and staff pulled their shirts on over their sweaters and shirts. Students buzzed with excitement as they read the words of encouragement on their new shirts. It was an exciting Christmas surprise for all.
Thank you to Flint Hills Church and to the Westwood PTO for the very generous gifts, as well as your efforts to provide our students with an uplifting moment as they head out on holiday break.