WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Santa Claus came to town early this season, paying a surprise visit last week to 480 elementary school students in Augusta, Ark., and Coffeyville, Kan., where Save the Children offers literacy programs for children in need. A Noerr Programs Santa—boasting a natural beard and a real belly laugh—arrived by sleigh, bearing books to mark the kick-off of the “Read, Learn and Be Merry” campaign.
Next on Santa’s list are children in Alamosa, Co., where he will surprise 380 students and parents at Alamosa Elementary School (1707 W. 10th Street) on Dec. 6 at 3:30 pm.
“There’s no better, more enduring gift than that of a quality education, and for children living in poverty, education is more than a test score; it’s a lifeline,” says Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. “The Santa Cause partnership with Noerr is giving children in the most underserved, rural communities in America a chance at a bright future.”
In support of this annual early-literacy campaign, sponsored by Noerr and Save the Children, Arkansas’ First Lady, Ginger Beebe, and the Arkansas Leadership Council joined Santa at Augusta Elementary School last Tuesday. The First Lady and Santa Bird, who holds court during the holiday season at Simon Property Group’s McCain Mall in North Little Rock, each read a classic Christmas tale to children from kindergarten through fifth grade.
On Wednesday last week, Santa Charlie left his temporary residence at Simon Property Group’s Independence Center in Independence, Mo., to bring the gift of reading to children at Community Elementary School in Coffeyville, Kan. Excitement and laughter filled the school’s cafeteria, as Santa animatedly read and re-enacted ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Both Santa Bird and Santa Charlie brought Scholastic books and UNO play cards as presents for the children and talked about the importance of reading and education. Students in Alamosa, Co., will also receive books and play cards from Santa, who will sleigh into Alamosa Elementary School from his temporary residence at Simon Property Group’s Town Center in Aurora. Alamosa City Councilman Josef Lucero will join Santa to help distribute the gifts.
Save the Children and The Noerr Programs have teamed up for the third year of “The Santa Cause,” a partnership that values the act of giving back by emphasizing the importance of education support for underserved children living in rural America. Since the partnership began, Noerr has collected more than $325,000 to benefit children in need throughout the country.
“We look forward to sharing the caring nature and kindness of Santa through these school visits,” said Judy Noerr, Chief Executive Officer of The Noerr Programs. “This season, we will encourage Santa’s guests at regional shopping centers throughout the country to share his spirit of generosity as well, by supporting Save the Children, and their critical early childhood education programs in the United States.”
Donations for Save the Children will be collected throughout the holiday season at The Santa Photo Experience at all Noerr Santa locations, including McCain Mall in North Little Rock, Ark., Independence Center in Independence, Mo., and the Town Center in Aurora, Co.
About Save the Children:
Save the Children works to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need—access to a quality education, healthy foods and opportunities to grow and develop in a nurturing environment. When disasters like hurricanes and wildfires strike, Save the Children is among the first on the ground ensuring the needs of children are being met.
Save the Children’s early childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition, and emergency response programs reached more than 185,000 children in the United States last year alone. For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org/usa; to donate to the Santa Cause, visit www.savethechildren.org/santacause.
About The Noerr Programs:
From headquarters in scenic Colorado, The Noerr Programs provide turn-key digital event imaging services and productions, including The Santa Photo Experience and Bunny Photo Experience for hundreds of clients, including regional shopping centers, retailers and the legendary Shops at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Celebrating 24 years in business, all Noerr cast members invest their hearts, souls and experiences into representing the spirit and essence of the season, building lasting connections with guests through Noerr's innovative retail, social media and altruistic platforms. For more information, visit www.NoerrPrograms.com and facebook.com/BeMerrySanta