Summerville High School brought back a Christmas concert tradition Dec. 9. The concert, Cocoa and Carols, was a combination of the Summerville High Chorus and Band. They performed separate pieces then combined to create a cheerful, fun evening for the audience.

Cocoa and Carols is an old tradition at Summerville High. Leslie Gilreath, band director, and Vivian Jones, chorus director, decided to bring the custom back. The concert features cookies and cocoa, so the band supplied the cocoa and the chorus provided the cookies.

"We could tell that everyone enjoyed listening to (the music) while drinking cocoa and eating cookies," said Amber Dicker, a senior chorus member. "It really gives the music a 'Christmas' feel!"

Some students were part of both the band and chorus, such as senior Ashlyn Staples.

"Being in both the band and the chorus made it a lot of fun to be able to do both things in one night," Ashlyn said. "It was hard work but well worth it in the end."

Hopefully, the success of this year's Cocoa and Carols concert will entice the band and chorus to continue the tradition. "I believe that now that it has been revived, it will continue for many years to come," Amber said.

Youth Court hosts Christmas party

The Dorchester County Youth Court, along with many organizations at Summerville High School, hosted the Christmas Extravaganza on Dec. 11 for foster children and others in its care.

Lessie Penn, Summerville High School assistant principal, Youth Court director and main organizer of the party, hoped that the event would be "bigger and better than the year before," and it was.

The Christmas Extravaganza included a Make-and-Take Christmas stocking station, cookie-decorating and face-painting stations, and a "fishing tank" in which attendees could snag prizes. The children also created toys, Christmas buttons and candy canes and participated in games. The party had an array of food, including cotton candy, popcorn, cakes, cookies and more.

Penn also arranged for jump castles from Jump for Joy Jump Castles, sponsored by Tellis and Antoinette Green, as well as for a firetruck to be at the party. An old-fashioned hayride and sleigh ride from Nature's Art, run by Mark and Connie Nolte, also was available.

Before the party, each foster child had made a wish list. In the guidance office of Summerville High, Penn decorated a Christmas tree with the more than 60 names and wish lists of the foster children attending the party. Many students as well as clubs took the initiative and adopted a child to give gifts.

Many school clubs also lent a hand to help with the party. The National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and leadership class not only got presents for foster children, but also helped wrap the presents. Student volunteers, donning red Santa caps, also ran the many craft stations and games available at the party.

The Summerville High School Parent Teacher Student Association and Palmetto Youth Connections worked to help the party run as smoothly as possible.

The Christmas Extravaganza coincided with Youth Court's October Fest, which also celebrated foster children in the community.

Midterms lead up to long winter break

During Summerville's last week of school before the winter break began, students had one of their most difficult weeks of the year: midterms.

From Dec. 14-17, students took two exams a day.

Unlike many schools, Summerville High did not have halfdays on exam days. Instead, each day consisted of two 90-minute periods for exams and then six 38-minute periods for all other classes.

Students will return to school Jan. 3.

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