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Community Partners Make It A Very Merry Holiday For Riley Kindergarten Students

Tom Flanigan
The first wave of gift-bearers meets with a Riley kindergarten class before heading to their classroom for the present presentations.

The nearly 100 kindergarten students at Tallahassee’s Riley Elementary School were deluged with presents for themselves and their families on the final day of classes before the holiday break.) It was part of the Classroom Connection begun by the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce earlier this year.After one student remarked he didn’t feel right accepting presents when other members of his family would have nothing, Chamber members, including the Moore Agency, upped the gift-giving dramatically. Leon School Board Member Joy Bowen was astonished by the generous outpouring.

“These children know that they have not been forgotten, they are not left behind, and we live in the All-America City.”

Chamber of Commerce President Sue Dick said this is just part of a larger commitment by local businesses to Riley and its students.

“They’ve been there since the beginning of school, they’re going to continue to be there. But during this holiday season, this is when it matters most and you can feel the hearts the fullest.”

The festivity brought this reaction from Riley Principal Maurice Stokes:

"To have the partnerships that we have at John G. Riley is just amazing! To know that the Chamber is involved and the Moore Agency and other stakeholders are involved in making sure that our kids succeed, it means the world to me. And I would bust out crying, but I'm trying hard not to."

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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