Return to Headlines

Ackerman Hosts Holiday Shopping Event for Students

December 17, 2021 - The halls of Ackerman School were filled with thousandsStudent and teacher shop for holiday gifts at Ackerman. of dollars worth of merchandise, ready to be perused and purchased by students excited to buy holiday gifts for their family and friends. Their annual Holiday Shopping event has been a tradition at the school for the past seven years. Items and wrapping supplies are donated throughout the year from local organizations, staff, and community members. Then, for as little as 50 cents, students can shop for holiday gifts for all the important people in their lives.

“Kids of all ages absolutely love it,” said School Social Worker Michelle Flynn. “Kindergarten all the way up to eighth grade. I just love seeing the kids give to other people, think about other people, and get into the holiday spirit.”

Items for sale include books, toys, art supplies, clothes,  jewelry, and holiday decorations, with health and beauty being the most popular products to purchase. Students are allowed to buy four to five items per person and teachers and staff assist with the shopping and wrapping. Ackerman teacher and event organizer Jennifer Mangiapanello says she started the event because it was one of her favorite memories as a child. She is thankful to have the continued support of co-workers during all these years.

 “I'm lucky to have great coworkers who support me by bringing in items and helping during setup, shopping, and take down,” said Mangiapanello. “A lot of students may not have the opportunity to go shopping, whether due to finances or limited resources, so it’s really helpful that they can do this for free or for a very low cost.”

 If students do not bring money, they are still able to shop using funds from the annual trivia night in April. For many students, Holiday Shopping is their favorite event of the year and Mangiapanello loves that it has allowed students to get into the holiday spirit, give back to others, and have fun.