Local Students Shop For Holiday Gifts During Sale

ST. MARYS — Local students were able to fit in some holiday shopping during a two-day event this week.

Students at St. Marys Primary School shopped the Santa's Workshop Gift Sale on Thursday and Friday.

"This is for Project Independence through the Auglaize County ESC," autism teacher Cari Fisher said on Friday. "Our students make the crafts. It takes about a year to make all of the stuff."

Fisher added the Santa's Workshop Gift Sale was at St. Marys Intermediate School last week, as well.

"We go to schools throughout the area," Fisher said. "We sell the crafts to raise money for our activities account."

The activities paid for through the account, she noted, varies.

"They take their parents out to eat for Thanksgiving," Fisher said. "It pays for them to do extra things throughout the community."

The fund also helps pay for items for the classroom, she added.

"This is our fourth year of the sale," Fisher said. "It just gets bigger and bigger every year."

During the sale, the students could browse items such as jewelry, ornaments, cookie mixes and pillows, with all of the funds raised going toward Project Independence.

"I order the stuff for everything, and then we make them together," Fisher said of each item for sale. "Sometimes, they will ask for specific things to make — this year it was the gift tags and the cookies in a


Project Independence consists of students with autism, and the students were at the sale helping the St. Marys Primary School students find what they needed.

"They walk around and they help the kids and add up their money," Fisher said. "It gives my students social skills and money skills."

For the students shopping, the sale is a way to find holiday gifts.

"For the younger kids, it lets them buy Christmas gifts for their family," Fisher said. "Everything is under $10."

She added the shoppers usually come prepared to the sale.

"We send fliers home with them earlier, and they usually bring a list of the people they're shopping for," Fisher said.

Madison Sands, a student in April Braun's first-grade class, said she was shopping for a relative.

"I'm shopping for my nana for Christmas," she said.

She noted one of the items she liked in particular.

"I like these," Madison said, pointing to the holiday bracelets.

Greg Felver, a student in Angie Woods' first-grade class, said he liked all the crafts.

"I'm shopping for my mom," he said.