“Dear Santa”: 28 years of letter writing tradition bonding all walks of life in education


Disha Kohli

Coppell High School seniors Samuel Madhanmohan and Yuvraj Thakur work with Cottonwood Creek Elementary kindergarten student Prosper to write letters to Santa during Kim Pearce’s second period AP English IV class. Kindergarteners and first graders came from Cottonwood Creek Elementary on Dec. 7 to write letters to santa with AP English students.

Christine Zacuai, Executive News Editor

Despite the boisterous and lively clamor, Coppell High School senior Sam Madhanmohan remains quiet.  


“It feels like just yesterday,” Madhanmohan said.


Remembering his first-ever visit to CHS being the ‘Holiday Wish Letters’ field trip in kindergarten, Madhanmohan didn’t realize then he, himself, would soon be one of the ‘intimidating and big’ high schoolers, that he once greatly feared.


On Dec. 7, Madhanmohan, amongst other CHS upperclassmen, sits with his partner Prosper – one of the 145 kindergarteners from Cottonwood Creek Elementary School visiting for the annual Holiday Wish letters activity to compose a simple, but courteous letter to Santa.


“In a matter of time, I’m here, doing the same thing for the next generation. It brings good memories,” Madhanmohan said.  


A long awaited tradition for many, its two months of planning and coordination from CCE teachers and the CHS English Department came into fruition as the C hall lit up with both giddy and shy grins from kindergarteners and first graders.


With the aid of CHS English students, the young students are able to formulate their Christmas wishes ranging from Barbie dolls, teddy bears to even their own car.


CCE teacher Stacey Harris is a witness to the unbridled excitement from her kindergarten class, who patiently counts down the remaining days till their visit on their class calendar.


“Everyday is the best day in kindergarten, but this is absolutely a highlight,” Harris said. “They don’t even realize how great it is. The day just gets better and better because of all the surprises.”


Seven CCE kindergarten and first grade classes were greeted by their assigned English class, some even with goodie bags filled with festive brownies, candy canes and coloring pages assembled by several CHS English students.


“We just wanted to have a personal connection with them,” CHS senior Sruthi Kilari said. “A lot of people came in the morning and just took time out of their day [to make treats].”


Being a tradition of nearly three decades, the activity has never failed to bring in a total embrace for the holidays from CHS every year, with the school even having a photoshoot session with a familiar faced Santa – CHS associate principal Sean Bagley.


“The Santa is always a big hit,” AP English IV teacher Kim Pearce said. “[We tell the CCE students] Santa took a break from his workshop in the North Pole to visit Coppell High School.”


The activity presents a learning aspect: incorporating CCE curriculum of distinguishing ‘needs and wants’ and the rudimentary skill of letter writing into an enjoyable and interactive way for all parties involved – all just in time for the holidays.


Being the former English Department chair, Pearce appreciates the short bond that is formed between the lowest level and highest level education.


“it’s full circle to see the looks on kindergarteners faces who are so excited about high school buddies, and then to see you as seniors remembering what that was and that, that innocence as a child and how excited learning was writing those letters, putting periods using capital letters,” Pearce said. “All those things that you’ve learned, but kind of forgotten because it just became routine, just makes it full circle.”