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School hosts annual boutique

Posted: December 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Fifth-grader Christiana Castro picks up a gift for her grandmother from Alicia Gonzales at Mitchell Community School's holiday boutique in Canyon Country on Tuesday.

 

It’s the time of year for gift giving and gift buying. For 667 kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students at Mitchell Community School in Canyon Country, it may be their first experience purchasing a gift for a family member.

The Mitchell Community School PTA has hosted the annual student gift-buying boutique “as long as I can remember,” said Principal Beverly Farrell-Smith.

Farrell-Smith, principal for the past three years, has worked at the school since 1997.

“This gives children a chance to buy presents for their family without the family being here,” she said. “The PTA works very hard coordinating this boutique. Every child at the school has an opportunity to buy a gift.”

Each gift is sent home in a bag with a colorful holiday stamp. The stamp lets the volunteers know what exact gift is inside, but doesn’t give it away to the gift recipient. All gifts are priced $1 to $10.

Students who can’t afford gifts are allowed to choose a free gift from the $1 table.

The annual boutique is not a fundraiser, but a service to parents and students, said PTA volunteer Jennifer Bolog.

“We just try to break even,” she said.

Boutique Chairwoman Jaime Lite said she shopped online for the more than 1,400 gifts amassed for the event. Among the hot sellers this year are the cookie jars, said Lite.

“It’s fun; the kids really like it,” she said. Lite has served as chairwoman for the past four years.

“The little ones are fun to watch,” she said. “They often haven’t had the chance to shop by themselves before.”

Because of the way the holidays fall on the calendar this year, the boutique featured both Christmas and Hanukkah gifts and included a selection of ornaments and other decorating items.

Each child is allowed to buy two gifts the first time they visit the boutique, Lite said. Each class is limited to only one or two of the more popular gifts so students from other classes have the same opportunity to acquire those the gifts.

After all the classes have been through the boutique, it will be open during recess and lunch on Thursday for unlimited purchases, said Lite.

During his trip to the boutique, fifth-grader Scott Oseas, 11, bought a present for his mother and his father.

“It was fun,” he said. “I got to find items for my people in my family.”

Cony Cordova, 10, said she likes buying gifts for others.

“I bought gifts for my mom and my little sister,” she said. “I was able to shop for my family instead of myself.”

mbuttelman@signalscv.com

661-287-5590

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