NorthBay Santas Visit Adopted Schools

Healthcare Santas were at it again in December.

For the ninth year, generous NorthBay employees adopted every classroom at Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield and Padan Elementary School in Vacaville to host holiday parties.

In all, 69 classrooms, filled with children from low-income families, enjoyed NorthBay’s hospitality. The total of all donations: $35,000.

Things get serious in October, when teachers share their wish lists, which are distributed to employees. Sometimes individual employees or managers adopt an entire class. Most classrooms have an entire department come as their holiday “elves.”

The executive boardroom at Green Valley Administration Center becomes a veritable Santa’s Workshop for most of December, as gifts — everything from paper and ink to Crayolas and snacks — are assembled.

The two schools were picked based on their classification as Title 1 schools, meaning that under federal guidelines, they serve a low-income population or are English language learners.

Children from kindergarten to sixth-grade feasted on healthy snacks, then opened gifts. In many of the younger-age classes, Santa managed to make an appearance.

In 2013, the wish lists were modest: a globe, pencil sharpeners, dictionaries, ink cartridges, paper and playground balls. Art supplies were also in demand, as were floor mats and flash cards.

 “We really appreciate all that NorthBay does for our students,” said Fairview Elementary School Principal Dave Marianno. “I think it’s pretty amazing when complete and total strangers are willing to provide a party and gifts to little children. It just seems to get bigger and better every year. I just don’t know how that happens.”