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Roberto Clemente Middle School Provides Holiday Mall for the Community


Teachers and staff at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown have found a way to bring holiday cheer to students and their families.

The Holiday Mall was started three years ago to provide an opportunity for students to provide gifts to their family members as they celebrate the holidays in December. 

Every January, teachers and staff begin donating new and slightly used gifts, according to Jill Becknell, Clemente’s 8th grade counselor. Gifts include toys, household items, jewelry, bath and body items, candles, frames, clothing, sports items, hats, gloves and bags/purses. The items are kept in a storage closet, and by December, the closet is filled to the ceiling. Parishioners at New Covenant Fellowship Church also provide gifts for the Holiday Mall and gift cards for the school’s Giving Tree.

The Holiday Mall opens the first week of December, fully staffed by teachers and staff. Any student who wishes to shop may participate and there is no limit on the number of gifts students can select. Their gifts are also wrapped by staff. So far this year, Clemente has provided more than 2,000 gifts to nearly 500 students.