Chertsey PS plays Santa for kids at Coast Shelter

Mitchell Frith and Jim Stephenson as Santa

Students, staff, and parents at Chertsey Public School are playing Santa this Christmas by collecting presents for children at Coast Shelter.

The initiative, Reverse Santa, has been running for over 10 years and aims to teach the school community about giving to those less fortunate.

School Champlain, Donna Knee, said it is a practical example to help children to be empathetic.

“This is a local centre that supports children with a meal and gifts on Christmas Day,” she said.

“They also support our school community whenever we have needed.

“We have families in our school who use Coast Shelter, so it is a great way of supporting them as well.”

Knee said the most area of need for presents is for older children ages 10 and up but any gift is greatly appreciated.

“Reverse Santa teaches children gratitude, and it provides an authentic experience to learn about those who may be less privileged,” she said.

“Our school community is incredibly generous and as whole we tend to end up with a couple of hundred gifts at least each year.”

Jacinta Counihan