Thanksgiving comes early at August Elementary

When August Elementary Principal Lori Risso arrived at work today to get a few things done before Thanksgiving, there was an envelope sitting on her desk. Before opening the envelope, Risso assumed it was likely to be a complaint of some sort, possibly from a parent or a resident of August’s east-central Stockton neighborhood.

Instead, to Risso’s surprise, five $20 bills fell out of the envelope. There also was this note from an anonymous donor:

According to the California Department of Education, 98.7 percent of the students at August Elementary qualify for free or reduced lunch — everyone, for all intents and purposes. Risso said she and her staff will try to add to the anonymous gift and provide Christmas help for some of August’s needy families.

“We thought maybe we would add to it from the staff and get gift cards for families or shoes or coats for some of the neediest kids here and wrap them up, an actual Christmas present,” Risso said. “I can think of a lot of staff members who would add to the pot. It just reminds you what the season is about, giving to others who are less fortunate. It just warms my heart. “

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