Need to get 900 Christmas cookies decorated in a half-hour?
Put 60 second-graders and 60 sixth-graders on the task.
Amid claps and excited shouts, that’s exactly what happened at Norfolk Catholic Elementary school Wednesday morning.
A fun project, sure, but it also teaches the students about giving back to others, said Rosemary Johnson, one of the second-grade teachers involved in the project.
The Salvation Army picked up the cookies Wednesday afternoon and will not only be using them in their soup kitchen, but also making them available to the 400 families receiving assistance at the holidays.
“It’s about the kids understanding that they’re going to help people who don’t have that,” said Jan Clausen of Norfolk.
The project began five years ago when Clausen’s daughter was in second grade. Clausen offered to bake the cookies and has been doing so ever since.
Clausen said she usually starts at the beginning of November mixing up batches, baking and freezing the sugar cookies that are cut into Christmas designs such as stockings, mittens or Christmas trees.
Parents of second-grade students help by mixing up several batches of frosting and supplying them for the project.
“I enjoy the kitchen, and that’s where I feel I can help. . . And if I can give them away, I don’t have to eat them,” Clausen said with a smile.
She said while the children frost the cookies to learn to give to others, that’s exactly why Clausen bakes them in the first place.
“Sometimes it’s not the money you give. Sometimes it can be the gift. That’s how I feel about my giving to them,” Clausen said.
And Capt. R.C. Duskin of the Salvation Army is happy to pass on that Christmas joy to clients receiving gifts.
“It’s wonderful to make the holidays brighter for so many families,” he said.