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St. Nicholas visits 5 Jacksonville elementary schools Friday

Children got warm hugs and gold kindness coins from St. Nicholas

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 3,000 children arrived at their schools Friday morning and found tinsel-decorated walls and holiday gifts. St. Nicholas, dressed in traditional green, gold and white, walked into each classroom to give students hugs and golden kindness coins.

Lawanda Polydore, principal of Saint Clair Academy, got a special coin of her own from the big guy.

"It's just exciting to see the eyes of the children (as they) walk in and see the gold up and down the hallways, and then to have St. Nick pop into the classroom and share with them a kindness coin.”

Each child also received a backpack filled with books and toys. United Way volunteers read books to them.

"We are being able to give them the gifts of literature, and just small tokens to let them know to keep sharing," Polydore said. 

The visit from St. Nicholas for the five Title 1 schools was organized by the United Way of Northeast Florida.