Friday, December 24, 2010

Students Take Downeaster to Bring Toys to Children

Excitement was in the cold air in Wells on the morning of December 14 as the second grade class and multi-age 1-2 students from Wells Elementary School boarded the Amtrak Downeaster at the Wells Transportation Center. They were embarking on a rail journey to Portland to deliver new toys to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The students, their teachers and 35 chaperones (mostly parents) were invited to take this free round trip excursion courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Amtrak. Each student was carrying one toy to donate to a child in need this holiday season.
“I am not sure all of our students have been on the Amtrak,” said Principal Marianne Horne about children under her watchful eye minutes before they boarded the train. Horne indicated the trip was not just a train ride but also an opportunity for students to demonstrate one of the school’s core values, compassion. “So today is our day, December 14th,” added Horne.
The trip to Portland took about 40 minutes with a couple of stops along the way. At the Portland Transportation Center in Portland, students handed their gifts to representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Once the toys were transferred, students had about an hour’s wait before their return trip to Wells. They boarded their waiting train, ate lunch and listened to stories, such as the “Polar Express.”
Photo caption: An Amtrak conductor looks on as elementary students, teachers and parents board a train to Portland from Wells to deliver toys to Toys for Tots on December 14. (Photo by Reg Bennett)