SHS kindergarteners board Polar Express


By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Jakob Valtos, left, and Ryan Wilson eagerly listen as Sacred Heart School Assistant Principal Holly Wilson reads “The Polar Express” to the kindergarten students Monday morning. The students traveled to the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque to share hot chocolate and cookies while dressed in their pajamas to hear the classic Christmas story.


Tzimonet Guerrero-Mercado sits on Santa’s lap after listening to the story of “The Polar Express,” Monday morning at Kehde’s Barbeque. Santa spoke to each child asking them what they would like to have for Christmas before he gave them each the gift of a silver sleigh bell.


Diego Lopez listens carefully while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson reads “The Polar Express” to the kindergarten classes from Sacred Heart Monday morning in the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque.


Lane McCollester looks at his boarding pass for the polar express before beginning to eat his cookies and drink his hot chocolate Monday morning. The Sacred Heart kindergarten classes took a trip to Kehde’s Barbecue to sit in the train car while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson read the classic story book to the students. Later the children were paid a visit by Santa Clause who gave them a silver bell to remind them to always believe in the spirit of Christmas.


Father Geoffrey Brooke is the conductor for the polar express ride the kindergarten students took aboard the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque early Monday morning. The 23 students were treated to hot chocolate, sugar doughnuts, candy canes and a visit from Santa Claus as part of their morning. Each student was given a silver sleigh bell to remind them to always keep the spirit of Christmas alive in their hearts.


By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Jakob Valtos, left, and Ryan Wilson eagerly listen as Sacred Heart School Assistant Principal Holly Wilson reads “The Polar Express” to the kindergarten students Monday morning. The students traveled to the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque to share hot chocolate and cookies while dressed in their pajamas to hear the classic Christmas story.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_tsd122215express1.jpgJakob Valtos, left, and Ryan Wilson eagerly listen as Sacred Heart School Assistant Principal Holly Wilson reads “The Polar Express” to the kindergarten students Monday morning. The students traveled to the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque to share hot chocolate and cookies while dressed in their pajamas to hear the classic Christmas story.

Tzimonet Guerrero-Mercado sits on Santa’s lap after listening to the story of “The Polar Express,” Monday morning at Kehde’s Barbeque. Santa spoke to each child asking them what they would like to have for Christmas before he gave them each the gift of a silver sleigh bell.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_tsd122215express2.jpgTzimonet Guerrero-Mercado sits on Santa’s lap after listening to the story of “The Polar Express,” Monday morning at Kehde’s Barbeque. Santa spoke to each child asking them what they would like to have for Christmas before he gave them each the gift of a silver sleigh bell.

Diego Lopez listens carefully while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson reads “The Polar Express” to the kindergarten classes from Sacred Heart Monday morning in the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_tsd122215express3.jpgDiego Lopez listens carefully while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson reads “The Polar Express” to the kindergarten classes from Sacred Heart Monday morning in the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque.

Lane McCollester looks at his boarding pass for the polar express before beginning to eat his cookies and drink his hot chocolate Monday morning. The Sacred Heart kindergarten classes took a trip to Kehde’s Barbecue to sit in the train car while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson read the classic story book to the students. Later the children were paid a visit by Santa Clause who gave them a silver bell to remind them to always believe in the spirit of Christmas.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_tsd122215express4.jpgLane McCollester looks at his boarding pass for the polar express before beginning to eat his cookies and drink his hot chocolate Monday morning. The Sacred Heart kindergarten classes took a trip to Kehde’s Barbecue to sit in the train car while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson read the classic story book to the students. Later the children were paid a visit by Santa Clause who gave them a silver bell to remind them to always believe in the spirit of Christmas.

Father Geoffrey Brooke is the conductor for the polar express ride the kindergarten students took aboard the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque early Monday morning. The 23 students were treated to hot chocolate, sugar doughnuts, candy canes and a visit from Santa Claus as part of their morning. Each student was given a silver sleigh bell to remind them to always keep the spirit of Christmas alive in their hearts.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_tsd122215express5.jpgFather Geoffrey Brooke is the conductor for the polar express ride the kindergarten students took aboard the train car at Kehde’s Barbeque early Monday morning. The 23 students were treated to hot chocolate, sugar doughnuts, candy canes and a visit from Santa Claus as part of their morning. Each student was given a silver sleigh bell to remind them to always keep the spirit of Christmas alive in their hearts.

Early Monday morning, 23 kindergarten students from Sacred Heart School took a ride on the Polar Express.

Although the train did not travel very far, remaining parked on the train track outside Kehde’s Barbeque, the journey was a magical one for the students.

Their trip began when the conductor punched their tickets to board.

The students were treated to hot chocolate, doughnuts and candy canes as they snuggled up in their pajamas while SHS Assistant Principal Holly Wilson read the classic storybook, “The Polar Express.”

The book, written by Chris Van Allsburg, is the story of a little boy who desperately wants to hear the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells, but he is told they do not exist.

Late one night while trying to hear them, a steam train arrives outside his door, full of children who are taken to the North Pole.

Upon their arrival the little boy is told that he may chose the first gift. After careful consideration, he asks for a silver bell from Santa’s sleigh.

On the trip home, the little boy loses the bell when it falls through a hole in his robe’s pocket.

He is heartbroken but when he wakes the next morning on Christmas, there is a small gift under the family Christmas tree for the boy, of the bell.

“It’s a story I have always loved,” SHS teacher Kay Keele said. “I started reading the story to my students way before the movie came out and I simply love it; it truly is my favorite story.

“I think the kids really love it because it helps to get them into the spirit of Christmas and what it really is supposed to be about,” Keele added.

This is the second year that students from SHS have made the trip to Kehde’s to hear the story read to them in the train car.

“Sacred Heart is very special to my heart,” John Kehde, owner of Kehde’s Barbecue, said. “I don’t think I can do enough for them and so this is just a small gesture I can do.”

After hearing the story, the students were treated to an extra surprise as Santa took time from his busy schedule to visit the kindergartners and give them each a special gift of a silver bell.

Just as in the book, both Keele and Kehde want to help the students carry on the memories of childhood as they grow up and become adults.

“I’ve taught a lot of different grade levels,” Keele said. “But no matter what age I teach this will always be part of my Christmas tradition for my students.”

Kehde agreed.

“Doing things like today, it’s what you do at Christmas,” Kehde said. “Family and family memories are always important.”

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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