Holiday joy brought to more than 300 kids at Pitkin School in East Hartford


EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Santa doesn’t usually make stops at schools, but on Thursday, some of his helpers were in East Hartford to share Christmas joy with more than 300 kids.

This isn’t your average Thursday at Pitkin Elementary School. For one, temperatures are nearing 60 degrees in mid-December, and also out of the norm is a float that usually graces New York City’s Macy’s Day Parade.

“We’re in East Hartford showing love for the children of Connecticut. We were in Norwalk yesterday, we were in West Haven yesterday, now we’re on this side,” said Gwen Samuel, President & Founder of Connecticut Parents Union.

One thousand books, 10 towns, four days, an annual event to spread holiday cheer all put on by the Connecticut Parents Union.

“Life can be so heavy for children and families. This is to say despite the circumstances, we can come together and bring smiles on the faces of our children and families,” Samuel said.

This is an all-volunteer operation. Parents raised $15,000 to make it happen.

“We are absolutely thrilled that they picked us, and they selected to come celebrate with our school,” said Beatrice Corrado, Principal of Pitkin Elementary School.

There were 335 children each taking a turn and walking away with new books, hats, and mittens. After nearly two years of stop-and-go in-person learning, days like this are uplifting for more than just the kids.

“The fact that we can be outside today. We can celebrate and we have something for the kids. Literacy is obviously one of our most important focuses here at Pitkin School, so the fact that they’re going to have books to read during break, during winter is absolutely exciting,” Corrado said.

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