Holiday act of kindness: Teacher buys presents for whole school

Students at a New Brunswick elementary school received a big surprise just in time for Christmas.

News 12 Staff

Dec 19, 2018, 9:50 PM

Updated 1,978 days ago

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Students at a New Brunswick elementary school received a big surprise just in time for Christmas.
Livingston Elementary School physical education teacher Jennifer Olawski raised thousands of dollars in order to purchase Christmas presents for every student at the school. The presents were revealed to the students at an assembly at the school Wednesday.
Each student received four hand-picked and hand-wrapped presents, which were given out one by one.
“For me it was the best Christmas experience I ever had,” said fourth-grader Jesus Diomicio.
Olawski spent months raising $10,000 through the community in order to purchase the gifts. It was the first time she had done it at Livingston Elementary, but she has done events like this at other schools she has worked at.
“I just really thought, ‘OK, here’s a teacher that wants to give back,’” said School Superintendent Aubrey Johnson. “But I had no clue the amount and magnitude in which this was developing.”
Olawski says that she doesn’t want the students to only experience receiving presents. She say that she wants them to walk away with a sense of giving back.
“I teach them a lot about kindness because I think the world is a little broken, and I want to instill kindness into their hearts even at such a young age,” she said.
The students tell News 12 New Jersey that they are thinking of ways of giving back.
"She really deserves to be loved because she did all of this for the students of Livingston School,” Diomicio said.
The students weren’t the only ones to have a surprise Wednesday. The school principal also announced that Olawski was named Teacher of the Year.


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