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 Santa Visits Students at Davila Day School

The interaction between Santa and the students at Davila Day School was different than one you might see at the mall.

This Santa used sign language to communicate with the students, which made the visit even more special and unique.

"To be able to see a Santa that talks and signs is just fantastic and the students get so excited," said Principal Heidi Lyon. "It's so great to see the kids get a gift and see them smile."

Santa's visit was organized by the principal and four staff members at the school. Dianna Nathan, Kelly Fialho, Amy Kalenderian, and Crystal Nithya formed an "elf team" to help organize the event and gather presents for the students.

Earlier this month, the team set up a Christmas tree at the South County Regional Education Center (SCREC) with ornaments that had gift ideas. SDCOE employees donated gifts so that all 42 students at Davila received items during their visit with Santa. Several outside groups also donated gifts or provided funds.

The "elf team" provided decorations, and South County Special Education Local Area Plan Executive Director Russell Coronado provided the tree that was set up at SCREC and at Davila during Santa's visit. The elf team also selected the gifts, which were age-appropriate, suited to students' abilities, and similar in size and cost.

In addition to a gift, each student also received two books thanks to a former employee who had arranged for the donations before she retired last year.