West Elementary decks the halls to lift Christmas spirits

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:15 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - West Elementary School has decked the halls for Christmas. It was done to lift the spirits of the students, but the teacher responsible gets a kick out of it as well.

The winter wonderland was created by teacher Alex Waldrop. Waldrop, who teaches second and third-grade special education inclusion, has been doing this for four years.

“It makes everybody happy these last three weeks before our break,” she said.

And this year it took her the entire Thanksgiving holiday to complete the task.

“A lot of our kids are from low-income families and they don’t get all this joy of Christmas always.”

Some of the decorations are personal, some are provided by the school and some are through private donations.

Waldrop adds new items every year.

“I’m just trying to keep it different for the kids,” Waldrop said. “But I feel like every year they love it regardless of whether it’s new or not.”

And what keeps her going is a simple gesture from the students.

“I love the smiles,” she said. “And, it was perfect timing because when they came back on Monday, our mask mandate was lifted in our district. So, I got to see a lot of smiles that I hadn’t been able to see in a long time.”

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