Baby Jay Santa surprises Wichita students with gifts
KU School of Medicine-Wichita has partnered with Park Elementary School for 23 years and hosts a special event for students during the holidays.
Students, faculty and staff at KU School of Medicine-Wichita enjoy giving back through various volunteer projects throughout the year, but it's the school's longtime partnership with Park Elementary - a partnership spanning 23 years - that demonstrates the magic of the holiday season.
Since 1998, KU School of Medicine-Wichita has arranged for students at Park Elementary School in Wichita to receive a special visit from Santa, who delivers them gifts from faculty, staff and medical students. The event was so successful in its first couple of years that it has evolved, with Baby Jay taking the helm at surprising the Park Elementary students when they visit the KU Wichita campus during the holidays each year.
The students each submit a wish list, and Baby Jay surprises them with one item from their list.
"Just the sparkle in their eyes and the excitement when they come back ... it means a lot for them to get something that's just their very own," said Kristi Franks, principal at Park Elementary, has said of her students' special holiday visit to KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
Franks said the visit to KU School of Medicine-Wichita gives students a special opportunity to see the inside of a medical school, along with the opportunity to interact in a social setting outside of their own school.
"Some families are struggling to make ends meet, and this is that something extra," Franks said of the gifts the students receive. "It's pretty special for them."
See the online photo album from this year's holiday event at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.