Across San Mateo County, schools and districts are using the holidays as a time to teach compassion. Below are just a few school programs that are highlighting equity and inclusion this holiday season:
San Mateo County Office of Education
The holiday spirit is alive and well at San Mateo County Office of Education with a focus on giving back to vulnerable children and youth. Staff are collecting gifts for youth in foster care and those receiving medical care at the Ronald McDonald House, SMCOE staff can choose from a variety of activities, including purchasing individual gifts for youth, participating in group gift wrapping, and/or card-making. The event gives staff the opportunity to put SMCOE’s vision of Equity and Excellence in Education into action.
Hillview Middle School (Menlo Park City School District)
Hillview Middle School’s Associated Student Body partners students in general education with students with autism at school dances, including this month’s Winter Semi-Formal. Students stay together through the whole event, dancing together, taking photos, playing games, and hanging out so that all have a positive experience.
San Mateo-Foster City School District
The San Mateo-Foster City School District is hosting a multicultural sing-along from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, December 21. Students will sing nine songs reflecting the diverse languages spoken by families in the district: Pasen a tomar atole, Arbolito de navidad, Las velitas de hanuka, Un millon de amigos, Stand By Me (bilingual version), De colores, Paz y libertad, Funga Alafia, and El latido de mi corazón.
San Mateo High School (San Mateo Union High School District)
San Mateo High School’s Annual Canned Food Drive took place November 10 to 30 to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank and Samaritan House, both of which serve families that may struggle with hunger this holiday season. This year, the students raised more than $7,860, surpassing their fundraising goals.
Burlingame High School (San Mateo Union High School District)
Two student organizations at Burlingame High School hosted a toy drive from November 30 to December 7. The Burlingame High School Cheer Squad worked in partnership with the non-profit children’s charity Good Tidings Foundation, while the Students In Action (SIA) Club partnered with Mom's Against Poverty, the Central County Fire Department, and Burlingame Parks and Recreation. Both toy drives were successful in collecting donations for children in need.
Capuchino High School (San Mateo Union High School District)
Capuchino High School is accepting unopened and unexpired canned goods, non-perishable foods like granola bars and crackers, and new or gently used blankets until December 14. Half of the food donations will be donated to the people impacted by the Camp Fire in Butte County, and the other half will be distributed to individuals and families staying in the homeless shelter at St. Bruno’s Church. All blanket donations will go to the Daly City Live Moves homeless shelter.
Hillsdale High School (San Mateo Union High School District)
Through December 13, Hillsdale High School students will be collecting new and gently used clothing and bedding to donate to LifeMoves, which provides interim housing and supportive services for homeless families and individuals. LifeMoves serves more than 10,000 clients a year and 750 per night, with 50 percent of shelter beds occupied by children.