Sacred Heart celebrates Christmas with SASH students

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SASH students making cards for soldiers Pau Barbosa ’18

Children of all ages rocked around the Christmas tree December 3 at the fifth annual Saturdays at Sacred Heart (SASH) Christmas Party at Sacred Heart Greenwich.

SASH students decorating their frames Pau Barbosa '18
SASH students decorating picture frames.
Pau Barbosa ’18

SASH is a weekend program that provides elementary and middle school children from low-income families in Fairfield and Westchester counties with opportunities to use Sacred Heart’s facilities and meet other children. As an extension of the Summer Academy program, it provides recreational and academic support throughout the year. This includes swimming, computer learning, and arts and crafts. 
This year, Director of Summer Outreach Programs Mrs. Lisa Lyons-Young and Upper School Director of Social Justice and Service Mrs. Kerry Bader set the stage for SASH’s festive Christmas event. Each year, SASH kicks off the holiday season by hosting a Christmas party for its students. However, this was the first time Mrs. Bader led and organized the event. 
“My favorite part of the party was the way in which our students interacted with the students from SASH,” Mrs. Bader said. “I like the fact that the SASH students comprise a wide age range, and this allows our students to interact with [them] across a spectrum.”
A total of 26 SASH students attended the party along with ten volunteers. The event was from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and included four stations of activities. After the children swam in the pool, they went upstairs and took pictures in front of the Christmas tree in the Magnetti Atrium. At 1:50 p.m., after pictures, the volunteers separated the SASH students into four groups of six or seven and each group went to a different station of activities.

“I loved spending the afternoon celebrating Christmas with all of the kids,” volunteer and junior Madison Day said. “It was a great start to the Christmas season, and I think the opportunity to reach out to kids beyond our school contributes to why Sacred Heart is such a welcoming and amiable community.”

finished frames of SASH students Pau Barbosa '18
Finished frames of SASH students.
Pau Barbosa ’18

At one of the stations, SASH students decorated wooden picture frames with paint and Christmas-themed stickers in the Lower School art room. Volunteers then printed the photographs they took of the SASH students in front of the Christmas tree, and placed them in each student’s frame.
At another station, children watched 20 minutes of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
SASH students also wrote letters to soldiers and decorated them with holiday stickers and colorful drawings while eating snacks and listening to Christmas music.
SASH students making cards for soldiers Pau Barbosa '18
SASH students making cards for soldiers.
Pau Barbosa ’18

Finally, students had the opportunity to decorate their own cupcakes. This station offered a selection of over 200 baked goods. Each SASH student was able to choose three or more treats and decorate them with the variety of frosting options offered. 
After finishing their last station at 3:15 p.m., the SASH students went into the Lennie and John de Csepel Theatre for a guided sing-a-long. Members of the Voices Touching Hearts Club led the group in song.  

“[It] was the first time we did something with kids and we really enjoyed it,” co-head of the club and senior Delia Hughes said. “Music is something that brings people together and for the kids that participated, we are happy to have made an impact. I loved seeing the kids slowly start to sing along or seeing their faces light up when they recognized a song we started to sing.”

SASH students during the guided sing-a-long Pau Barbosa '18
SASH students during the guided sing-a-long.
Pau Barbosa ’18

As part of a continual collaboration with SASH during the Christmas season, Mrs. Bader also organized a board game drive for the SASH students. Each Upper School advisory donated at least one board game, which the children will recieve the next time they meet at Sacred Heart. 
“SASH is a vital program that shows Sacred Heart’s great support for children in need,” Mrs. Bader said. “Because the program occurs on the campus of Sacred Heart, it provides an easy way for our students and SASH students to work together.”
– Pau Barbosa, Features Editor