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Birthday Bags Will Brighten Birthdays for Pettengill House Families

Submitted by on April 27, 2015 – 3:45 pm
Photos by Mike Dean

Sydney Tatoyian of Methuen, a member of NECC’s Early Childhood Education Club, helped prepare birthday bags for the families at the Pettengill House in Salisbury.

Several families at the Pettengill House, a social service nonprofit in Salisbury, will soon have the “fixings” for a good old fashioned birthday party thanks to the student members of the Northern Essex Community College Early Childhood Education (ECE) Club.

The ECE Club collected donations from faculty and students of the Early Childhood Education program as well as from families at the Little Sprouts Child Care Center at NECC.

ECE Club members were able to fill 18 gender neutral “birthday bags” including one gluten-free, with boxes of cake mix, cans of frosting, thematic paper plates and napkins, birthday candles, and party favors. The items were placed in large, decorative birthday bags topped with colorful tissue paper and will be available to families in need who have a birthday to celebrate.

After brainstorming community service ideas, ECE Club members voted on accepting this project. Collection boxes were decorated and arranged in the ECE classroom and child care center to gather donations.

“Local food kitchens and food pantries offer staple food items, but they don’t usually offer birthday items” said Gail Feigenbaum, director of NECC’s ECE program.

Northern Essex Community College offers an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. The program prepares students to work in child care or transfer to a four-year college or university for a bachelor’s degree.