It's called Christmas on Campus. This was the 47th year that students at the University of Dayton have held the event which hosts students from some of the inner city public schools for an evening of fun.
The college students *adopt* one of the 1st through 3rd graders. They buy them a gift and escort their child around campus which is set up like a winter wonderland. There are tons of crafts, snacks, games, entertainment and fun things for the kids to do. Santa's even there.
Back before we had kids, the group I work with would volunteer to ride the buses with the kids to and from their school.
Basically it was the crappiest job there is. You get the kids as they are absolutely BONKERS with excitement. Inevitably, we would ride a bus that arrived 45 minutes early and would have to entertain the kids as they waited for the college students to come and get them.
Then we would ride the buses back to school with them as they were EQUALLY bonkers from all of the cookies, candy and hot chocolate that their college student had given them. Of course, the college students NEVER took their kids to the bathroom so each year there would be at least one kid who would have a tinkle accident on the bus. One year we got a barfer. Totally gross.
We gave that job up right about the time I had Olivia. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I rode a bus pregnant with her. Nightmare.) I remember all those years thinking how excited I was to have kids of my own and take them to Christmas on Campus. I took Olivia last year, but this year the kids were old enough to really enjoy it.
And one of the very best parts was having our very own college friends to escort our kids.
Kari is on the UD women's basketball team. She has babysat and Olivia L.O.V.E.S. her. It was so fun to see Olivia and Kari holding hands as the walked around.
Another friend of ours, Melissa, is one of Quinn's crushes currently. They held hands and he even managed to get her to carry him around for awhile.
One of the highlights of the night was the game booth worked by the UD cheerleaders. They were so sweet to Olivia, who is enamoured by them.
They thought she was so cute that this cheerleader even gave O her pom poms that she uses in the game. To say O was excited is the understatement of the year.
She is going to take them with her the next time we go to one of Kari's games.
All in all, the night was magical. My kids had a blast and it was so fun to have them interacting with the great students we work with.
I really hope Christmas on Campus is something my kids have fond memories of for a lifetime.