The caring of Bridge Street Middle School staff members extends beyond the classroom.
For that reason, teachers and staff members contributed in several ways to ensure a happy holiday season for the school’s students. Named after its school mascot, Bridge Street recently held its “Adopt a Devil” holiday gift drive. For the project, 39 Bridge Street staff members selected or “adopted” a student and then purchased a gift for them.
Bridge Street Middle School Principal Raquel McLeod said the program has existed for more than five years. She said it is anonymous, so the student doesn’t know which teacher purchased the gift for them. The teachers purchase a $50 gift for the student, and then the student receives a letter that lets them know they will be receiving a present. The student’s parents are invited to the school to watch them receive it, and McLeod said it is always a wonderful moment.
“It’s just like seeing a child on Christmas Day,” she said. “They are so excited when they open the gift, and the parents always appreciate it, too…When the students receive the letters, they always try to guess which teacher got it for them.”
The “Adopt a Devil” program is not the only effort that benefits Bridge Street students during the holidays. Each year, a school endowment provides a holiday shopping trip for Bridge Street students. This year, 18 students received gifts through that funding. McLeod said these types of efforts make her proud to be a part of Bridge Street Middle School.
“The generosity of our teachers and staff members amaze me every year,” she said. “They care about each child as a whole. It goes beyond academics. It’s also about their social and emotional wellbeing. We stress that, at Bridge Street, we are family, and our gift projects are just some of the ways we show each other.”