Thanksgiving is nearly a week away, but one second-grade teacher in Phoenix already has her eyes on Christmas.
Jennifer Sanchez and her class at Wilson Primary School are preparing for their 13th annual Polar Express PJ Party.
“Every year the students get to wear pajamas and we eat cookies, drink hot cocoa and watch the movie,” she told The Arizona Republic.
However, many of her students don’t own a pair of pajamas to wear to the party.
Sanchez is calling on “Pajama Angels” to fill in for Santa Claus for her students this year.
A holiday tradition
The Polar Express hit theaters ahead of the Christmas season in 2004.
It was the start of a holiday tradition in Sanchez’s class.
“Since the release of the movie, we have been watching (the Polar Express) the day before Christmas break,” Sanchez told The Republic.
A simple request to have students dress in jammies turned out to be a challenge.
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“Year after year, the students would show up not wearing pajamas,” Sanchez said. “The majority of my students don’t even have a pair!”
But, time after time, donors have stepped up to spread the holiday cheer to her second graders.
Last year, she was able to raise 25 pairs of pajamas, socks and a Santa hat for each of her students.
“Every student came in modeling their new pajamas, just as happy as can be!” she said. “Something as simple as a new pair of pajamas and socks meant all the world to these little guys.”
‘It’s so heartwarming’
This year is no different.
Sanchez is looking for “Pajama Angels” to keep their classroom tradition going.
She is requesting 24 pairs of jammies and socks for her class. People can also donate hot cocoa and cookies.
It is the gift that keeps on giving.
“After Christmas break, many of them came in saying, ‘Teacher I wore my new pajamas on Christmas with my family!’ It’s so heartwarming!” Sanchez said.
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