Area schoolchildren will visit Northeastern State University from Dec. 6-10 to participate in holiday activities during the third annual RiverHawk Christmas in the University Center Redbud Room.
Combined attendance for this year's RiverHawk Christmas is expected to top 630 students. Schools attending include Cherokee, Greenwood and Keys.
The RiverHawk Christmas event hosts visits from local schools to NSU. Students in Headstart and pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade will receive a commemorative holiday card to decorate, hear a Christmas story from Mrs. Claus, have pictures taken with Santa Claus and receive a candy cane. It is a festive event and includes the movie "Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer" and a visit from NSU mascot Rowdy the RiverHawk, and a few other holiday characters.
"I began RiverHawk Christmas in 2008 because there were few Christmas programs intended for children below the 3rd grade," said Deanie Hensley, assistant director of NSU auxiliary services. "Children that young often have difficulty sitting through a long program; however, this program allows for quick and fun events within a short period."
Children will be able to move quickly between activities and schools can have students attend the festivities for just $2 to offset picture printing expenses.
Hensley said the event is inexpensive thanks to the efforts of NSU participants.
"This entire event is made possible because of the people who take time out to make it happen," said Hensley. "Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elf, the runners, the photographer – they're all NSU volunteers and the costumes are all borrowed from either personal collections or departments.”
Hensley added that the event allows children a small experience of a university campus and instills in them the importance of an education via role modeling, but the primary goal is to provide a fun time for the students attending.
"Every year, we are geared up and excited about this," she said. "This is a good program for NSU auxiliary services to offer and it is wonderful way to be able to give back to our community."
Published: 12/7/2010 11:54:45 AM