Relaymedia

Underserved Students Go Christmas Shopping with Good Grades

( [email protected] ) Dec 19, 2008 07:40 AM EST
Hundreds of underserved students in the District of Columbia went Christmas shopping this week, only having to worry about achieving good grades and not money.
Students go Christmas shopping for themselves and family members using special vouchers given for good grades and behavior at Powell Elementary School in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. (Photo: World Vision)

Hundreds of underserved students in the District of Columbia went Christmas shopping this week, only having to worry about achieving good grades and not money.

Christian charity World Vision, in partnership with Latin American Youth Center’s (LAYC), awarded students “spend” voucher points that they can trade in at the Holiday Shop for gifts for themselves and family members.

Vouchers are earned for good behavior, higher grades, better study habits, class preparedness, greater cooperation with the teacher, and other positive academic and behavioral performance.

“For many of these students, this holiday shopping trip may be the only one they have this year. It is significant because their academic efforts are rewarded with an opportunity they might not otherwise have,” said Michael C. Worsley, community specialist at World Vision U.S. Programs, to The Christian Post on Friday.

All the items from the Holiday Shop are new and have been donated by World Vision corporate partners, including Hasbro and Unilever. Gifts include stuffed animals, puzzles, school supplies, board games and electronic games. Personal care items include soap, deodorant and clothes detergent.

“With the economic downturn, the holidays can be especially difficult for children in low-income families,” World Vision wrote in a statement. “The gifts at today’s shop may be the only gifts these children give or receive.”

More than 600 children enrolled in the LAYC after-school programs at Barnard and Powell Elementary, and MacFarland Middle Schools participated in the Christmas shopping event this week.

World Vision is one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world serving in nearly 100 countries. The ministry is dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty.