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An early Christmas

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

It was only Dec. 11.

But it looked like Christmas morning in one Barcelona Elementary School classroom, with remnants of wrapping paper all over the floor, and kids hugging their new action figures and plush toys.

“This is the best day ever,” third grader Amaris Romero shouted with glee.

She got exactly what she wished for: an L.O.L Surprise! Doll, which is a small baby doll, and some accessories from her favorite movie, “Frozen.”

Amaris was one of the Barcelona Bobcats Santa and his wife came to visit Wednesday afternoon.

The Kringles read the kids a festive story and then handed out presents, one by one, to the excited bunch, who had penned their Christmas wishes in letters to Santa earlier.

The presents were purchased by Western Sky Community Care employees, who sponsored 40 students.

Ramón Martinez, the director of the managed care organization, said volunteers from the company also served as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The organization worked with Albuquerque Public Schools administration to identify a school population that needed some extra Christmas giving, he said.

According to Adalena Maldonado, parent liaison at Barcelona, the school is 100% Title I, so many students are from low-income families.

Principal Rae Lynn Dooley said that some families at the school have a hard time getting presents to put under the tree while dealing with their regular expenses.

Dooley said teachers picked kids in prekindergarten through fifth grade who would benefit from the Christmas surprise.

With wide eyes and big smiles, the students tore into the gift bags and wrapped parcels, showing their classmates what was inside.

Wesley Bennett, a kindergarten student, held up his Batman and Joker toys, telling the Journal he was eager to get home and play.

Christopher Cameron, chief operating officer at Western Sky, said this was a good chance to give back.

“We wanted a chance to make this season happier for this group of kids,” he said.

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