Blankets, bikes, toys, clothes and performances marked the last week of school before the Christmas holiday.

Many campus groups orchestrated toy drives, food drives, coat drives and blanket drives for a range of charitable causes.

At least one school received bicycles from a local sporting goods store.

In addition, many choirs and bands were on the move, providing sounds of holiday cheer for area groups.

The Killeen Independent School District completed its semester Friday and begins a new one Jan. 6.

On Tuesday, H-E-B’s annual Feast of Sharing fed a reported 5,000 people. Among the volunteers serving was a group of athletes and coaches from Ellison High School and students from the KISD Career Center.

On the stage, the dining entertainment included the Ellison High School Chamber Singers and the Shoemaker High School Pandemonium steel drum ensemble.

Also this week, at Clifton Park Elementary School, where students and staff contributed to the recent Food for Families drive and the United Way, some diligent students received free bicycles.

On Wednesday, Academy sporting goods in Killeen delivered 30 bicycles — 15 boys and 15 girls — to students with perfect attendance records.

Clifton Park counselor Galatea Badger praised the students for their perfect attendance, pointing out that being in school contributes directly to learning and high grades.

The bikes went to 16 students who had perfect attendance last school year, another 10 students who recorded perfect attendance this semester and the last spring semester and four more students who recorded perfect attendance this semester and were drawn randomly to round out the 30 recipients.

Academy manager Steve Knowlton said the giveaway is a corporation-wide effort to reach out to school districts. “We love being here,” he said during the giveaway. “This is the most fun part of the job.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the National Elementary Honor Society at Ira Cross Elementary School labored to complete fleece blankets for a service project directed at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple.

As they cut and tied knots on the soft, simple blankets, fourth-grader Mikayla Outlaw and fifth-grader Tylynn Cross explained their interest in the project.

They said an Ira Cross teacher told them that one year her daughter was in the hospital during Christmas and all she wanted that year was a blanket. “I’m happy with what we’ve done,” said Outlaw. “It’s a nice thing to do to help children.”

The Union Grove Middle School choir managed to mix charitable giving and performance.

The group’s varsity mixed choir performed at a luncheon Thursday and delivered 12 boxes of donated stuffed animals, socks, underwear and pajamas for Killen ISD’s homeless student program.

“We just want to help people who are less fortunate than us,” said Union Grove eighth-grader Elisa Brown. “We want them to have a good Christmas.”

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