The Children Deserve Success program for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools office held its annual holiday celebration for 165 students from four surrounding school districts.

The event was held on Dec. 11 at the Elks Lodge No. 836 in San Bernardino for homeless students from the Fontana, Redlands, Rialto and San Bernardino school districts.

“This is a wonderful, annual event for students and their families,” County Superintendent Ted Alejandre said. “The sponsors for the event and the individual donations do so much to help support the needs of students.”

Brenda Dowdy, project manager for Homeless Education for County Schools and the organizer of the event that she started in 2004, said sponsors provide donations to purchase new coats for all of the students attending the celebration. In addition, individual sponsors chose children to provide gifts, such as clothing and toys, which are handed out during the banquet.

Also, 55 volunteers helped during the celebration event by serving meals, handing out gifts and organizing photos with Santa.

Sponsors supporting Children Deserve Success for this year’s event included: California State University, San Bernardino; Durham Transportation; Elks Lodge No. 836 in San Bernardino; Highland Congregational Church; Molina Health Care: Panera Bread; Redlands Rotary; San Bernardino County TAD; San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Child Assistance Fund and employee donations; San Bernardino County Teachers Association; and TJ Maxx.

For more information about Children Deserve Success, contact the program at (909) 386-2755.

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