Santa's Toy Express focuses on on forming 49 exceptional experiences, mostly for children 4 to 8 years old, recommended from the district’s elementary schools in northeast Colorado Springs and the Falcon area of El Paso County. After receiving a warm breakfast, children board buses with sponsors and travel a mile east to Wal-Mart with gift cards. Many join Santa Claus in singing Christmas carols along the way.
Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) is a one-of-a-kind, school-based father involvement program that works to support education and safety. “I feel it’s up to the parents, especially the dads, to be protectors of the kids,” said Bruce Hicks, while patrolling recess activities and occasionally speaking softly to a child looking sad. “I look for kids who are alone on the playground, and I tell them, ‘let’s go get you some friends.’ … I don’t like bullies, so I try to be the opposite.”