Holiday wishlists creating new friendships

Coppell English II class taught by Carla Martinez helps the Cottonwood Creek first grade class taught by Brooks Burnap write letters to Santa for the holiday season on Thursday. The visit from the first graders is an annual event to encourage new relationships between high schoolers and underclassmen.

Blanche Harris

Coppell English II class taught by Carla Martinez helps the Cottonwood Creek first grade class taught by Brooks Burnap write letters to Santa for the holiday season on Thursday. The visit from the first graders is an annual event to encourage new relationships between high schoolers and underclassmen.

Avani Kashyap, Staff Writer

“Santa! Santa!”

“Ho Ho Ho!”

With these words, excited Cottonwood Creek Elementary School learners get ready to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit.

Today, CCE kindergartners and first graders came to Coppell High School English classes, where CHS students helped them write holiday wishlists. The activity is a tradition that many look forward to every year. Each high schooler was paired up with an elementary buddy who they helped guide throughout the class. The tradition provided an opportunity for the elementary students to receive grammar help while creating new friendships. 

“One of our big units is letter writing and this is a great way to celebrate in an authentic way,” CCE teacher Brooks Burnap said. “It also builds relationships and builds community engagement. You can see the excitement on the first graders’ faces as soon as they walk into the high school and it really reinforces the relationships and unifies us as a Coppell family.”

Along with writing holiday wishlists, the younger students could also color gingerbread men and complete holiday word searches. The CHS students also helped them practice their conversation skills in the new environment. Beyond the chatter, candy canes and cookies also added to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

For the CHS students, interacting with the younger kids is an enjoyable break from the stress of normal high school lessons.

“It teaches them to reach out of their comfort zone,” CHS English teacher Carla Martinez said. “I love that we take a chance to do things for our community instead of just working all the time. It’s teaching students that there’s more to life and they can take a moment to enjoy.”

For many CHS students, the experience reminded them of their own elementary years.

“It makes me feel nostalgic, and I would go back to that time any day,” junior Pranavi Gandikota said.

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