By Ken McLemore
HOPE – The Hope Public Schools are shifting into holiday calendar mode with events, activities and campus cheer through December.
Classes across the district will be dismissed early Dec. 15-17, including, Clinton Primary School – 1 p.m.; Beryl Henry Elementary School – 1 p.m.; Hope Academy of Public Service – 1:10 p.m.; Yerger Middle School – 1:15 p.m.; Creative Action Team School – 1:15 p.m.; and, Hope High School – 1:20 p.m.
Students at Hope High School will complete end of semester exams during morning classes Dec. 15-17. Teachers and staff will maintain regular work schedules all three days.
All six HPS campuses and administrative offices will close for the Christmas holiday at the end of the day Dec. 17 and will reopen Jan. 3.
‘A CHRISTMAS STORY’ PARADE
HPS students and organizations will be represented in the revival of the annual Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Lighted Christmas Parade on Dec. 6. The parade runs this year after a hiatus created by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Chamber Executive Director Beckie Moore. Parade time is 6 p.m. along Main Street from the Brazzel-Oakcrest Funeral Home parking lot into downtown Hope, and all units are to be lighted in some fashion.
The Hope High School Bobcat Marching Band will maintain its traditional holiday appearance; Yerger Middle School will have a float entry; and the students from Hope Academy of Public Service will bring their “Anything But Green Beans” holiday canned and non-perishable food drive to the parade with shopping cart collections of donations along the parade route. All donations will be distributed locally during the holidays, according to faculty sponsor Hosea Born.
The theme for this year will be taken from the film “A Christmas Story” adapted from the short story by humorist Jean Shepherd. Hope native Melinda Dillon portrayed the mother of young Ralphie in the movie.
LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
The HPS bands department will present its annual Christmas concert Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hope High School auditorium.
Head Bands Director Chris Davis said all band students should report to the HHS band hall between 6-6:25 p.m.
The Hope High School Jazzcats will seat the audience and open the program. The Hope Academy of Public Service/Yerger Middle School Beginning Band will perform next, followed by the HAPS Sixth Grade/Yerger Eighth Grade Concert Band, then the HAPS Symphonic Band will take the stage.
The Hope High School Symphonic Band will round out the evening, Davis said.
HAPS and YMS musicians should wear concert black within school dress codes and HHS musicians are to wear red Polo, black slacks, black socks, and marching shoes. Davis said musicians may wear holiday hats if they do not obstruct vision.
CAN YOU SPARE A CAN?
Canned and non-perishable food item collections are ongoing at three HPS campuses.
The Beryl Henry Elementary School Leadership Council will collect canned food item donations from students and will accept donations from the public Dec. 6 -14. Canned food and non-perishable food items may be donated at the main office entrance, 2000 Main St., or may be sent to school with students.
Hope High School Paraprofessional Marketta Flowers, along with the HHS Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and HHS Student Council, will spearhead a canned food drive through Dec. 10. Student donations may be left in Sheila Hopson’s classroom, No. 225 on the second floor of the HHS main building. A $25 prize will be awarded to the leading student donor.
Yerger Middle School classes are also involved in a student-led canned food drive which ends Dec. 10.
Holiday… uhm… fashion (?) takes over the Hope Public Schools beginning Dec. 6 as each campus celebrates the season with highs and lows in holiday sartorial splendor.
CLINTON PRIMARY SCHOOL
Dec. 6-10: Jingle and Jeans Week. Students and teachers dress in Christmas shirts and jeans.
Dec. 13 – Ugly Christmas Sweater Day… unfortunately explains itself.
Dec. 14 – Grinch Day… celebrating holiday antihero; the Whos knew.
Dec. 15 – Light Up Day… electrify your holiday spirit.
Dec. 16 – Polar Express Pajama Day… celebrate the movie.
Dec. 17 – Tree Topper Day… antlers, hats, a shining star, whatever.
BERYL HENRY ELEMENTARY
Dec. 13 – Christmas Character Day… from Bah, humbug to Ho, Ho, Ho.
Dec. 14 – Christmas Hat Day… holiday haberdashery.
Dec. 15 – Ugly Christmas Sweater Day… again, explains itself.
Dec. 16 – Red and Green Day… sport seasonal colors.
Dec. 17 – Flannel Day… finery in the fabric of the season.
HOPE ACADEMY OF PUBLIC SERVICE
Dec. 6 – Christmas Character Day… bring out your inner elf, angel, reindeer, etc.
Dec. 7 – Candy Cane Day… red and white colors take over.
Dec. 8 – Ugly Sweater Day… need we explain, again?
Dec. 9 – New Year’s Eve… dress like you mean it for a successful year.
Dec. 10 – Cozy Day… flannel and Christmas socks; all you need is the fireplace.
YERGER MIDDLE SCHOOL
Dec. 6 – Color wars… it’s eighth grade in red vs. seventh grade in green.
Dec. 7 – Christmas Hat Day… cover your dome with holiday cheer.
Dec. 8 – Christmas Sweater Day… ugly is NOT required; ‘nuff said.
Dec. 9 – Mad About Plaid Day… plaid is rad, flannel is fundamental.
Dec. 10 – Snow Day… you wish; so wear blinding white.
Dec. 13 – Christmas Vacation Day… make Chevy Chase proud; or wear vacation shirts, flip flops and socks.
Dec. 14 – Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland Day… make Perry Como proud; chill in blue and white.
Dec. 15 – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Day… make Clement Moore proud; wear PJs but keep it presentable.
Dec. 16 – Candy Cane Lane Day…sport the red and white in checks, plaids or stripes.
Dec. 17 – Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree Day… make Brenda Lee proud; dress the holiday from head to toe.
MORE THE MERRIER
Beryl Henry Elementary School students will celebrate the holidays with classroom parties Dec. 16.
Hope Academy of Public Service seventh and eighth grade advisory classes participated in creating luminaries for the annual Christmas and Candlelight production at Historic Washington, while HAPS fifth and sixth grade advisory classes created holiday cards for local nursing home residents.
HAPS EAST program students are also involved in a Towel Drive to benefit Hope in Action through Dec. 17. Towels will be used in the residential program at Hope in Action No. 2. Donated towels may be dropped off at the Sixth and Grady streets side of the HAPS campus under the EAST lab awning. Call 870-722-2700, ext. 411 for questions.
HOPE HIGH SCHOOL
Dec. 13 – Christmas Countdown… Quick Quiz: Which two traditional Christmas colors are the HHS school colors? (Hint: Red and White) Wear red, white and green.
Dec. 14 – Mad About Plaid… don’t get mad, get plaid… glad you got it.
Dec. 15 – Grinch Day… Get your green going… and let your heart grow.
Dec. 16 – Ugly Christmas Sweater Day… aaaand, you know the drill.
Dec. 17 – Deck the Halls… all Christmas, all the time, all the way.