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Welcome to the South Pole

by Bryan Terry and Nate Billings and Chris Landsberger Modified: April 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm •  Published: December 3, 2010
With kindergarten teacher Tina Winkle watching (left) Itzel Chavez, a kindergarten student at Santa Fe South, reacts as she sees her gift during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
With kindergarten teacher Tina Winkle watching (left) Itzel Chavez, a kindergarten student at Santa Fe South, reacts as she sees her gift during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman

Itzel Chavez smiled, her hands clasped above her gift. She shook with excitement as she waited to tear into the red wrapping paper. Chavez joined other kindergarten and first-grade students in Santa Fe South High School’s auditorium in Oklahoma City as they unwrapped dolls, remote control cars, action figures and coloring books during the school’s annual Christmas party and gift exchange.
“Some of these kids don’t really have a lot. Some of them may not get another Christmas present other than what they get today,” said Sally Barton, a teacher at SFSHS who helped organize the holiday party.

Santa Claus waves to kindergarten students while high school students pass out gifts during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Santa Claus waves to kindergarten students while high school students pass out gifts during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman

The program paired a high school student with an elementary school student for lunch, presents and performances by high school choir and steel drum groups.  Santa Claus also made a special appearance, sitting under a banner that read “Welcome to the South Pole.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the high school kids who maybe didn’t have as much when they were younger to be able to participate and give back to the community,” Barton said.

John Moore, a kindergarten student at Santa Fe South, shows off a remote controlled toy he received during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
John Moore, a kindergarten student at Santa Fe South, shows off a remote controlled toy he received during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Nikko Taupule, a freshman at Santa Fe South High School, carries Xaria Smith, a kindergarten student, on his shoulders during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Nikko Taupule, a freshman at Santa Fe South High School, carries Xaria Smith, a kindergarten student, on his shoulders during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Santa Fe South High School Senior David Olivas holds kindergarten student Vicki Mendoza as they talk with Santa Claus during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Santa Fe South High School Senior David Olivas holds kindergarten student Vicki Mendoza as they talk with Santa Claus during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in OKlahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A high school student helps her kindergarten guest open a doll during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in Oklahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A high school student helps her kindergarten guest open a doll during the annual Christmas Party and gift exchange at Santa Fe South High School in Oklahoma City on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman

-John Clanton

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by Bryan Terry
Photographer
Bryan Terry is a native of Oklahoma and is a graduate of Yukon High School. He first picked up a camera while attending the University of Central Oklahoma. After working for the school newspaper, The Vista, he interned at The Oklahoman. He...
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by Nate Billings
Photographer
Nate Billings never planned to become a photojournalist. He took pictures as a hobby growing up and worked as an assistant for his father, a commercial still and video photographer, but chose to study English Literature in college. Billings did...
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by Chris Landsberger
Assistant Photography Editor
Chris Landsberger is a native of Oklahoma and, as a photographer, has been able to travel coast to coast and everywhere in between to cover news for the last 13 years. He has been a part history that included coverage of Oklahoma City bomber...
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