Monterey has come to rely on a lively annual visit from children to launch the Christmas season in our adult community. And so it was that on December 1st, when a yellow school bus pulled up at the Yacht Club at ten a.m. and discharged the kindergarten class from the Hope Rural School in Indiantown. With their audience already on hand, eagerly awaiting their arrival, the children filed into the room adorned in red Santa hats and a charming combination of shyness and high energy.
Well trained in the words and gestures for each of their songs, the line-up of children concluded the program with “We wish you a merry Christmas!” They circulated among spectators eager with hugs and words of appreciation, when who should appear but Santa with a bag full of treats!
As explained by Sister Dooley, director of the school, Hope Rural School was founded in 1980 for the purpose of helping families of migrant workers and giving them reason to remain in the area. Schooling for the children, pre-kindergarten through grade five, as well as instruction in parenting has set the school apart from all others
For Monterey residents, admission to the program is an unwrapped gift for a child or a cash donation. The popularity of the event has grown to the extent that people who are not going to be in residence send gifts beforehand, so that this year brought the largest total donation ever.