Santa Shares Time with Arlington Children
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Santa Shares Time with Arlington Children

Part of AHC’s Afterschool program.

Santa visits the Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC) Afterschool program Dec. 18.

Santa visits the Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC) Afterschool program Dec. 18. Photo contributed

Santa Claus denied that he looked a lot like a local resident (Del. Patrick Hope) as he read “Where is Christmas Jesse Bear?” to the children in the Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC) Afterschool program on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The event was held at the Rinker Community Center at the Gates of Ballston.

Children were busy decorating, as well as eating, Christmas cookies and creating Christmas ornaments or coloring holiday pictures while waiting their turn on Santa’s knee.

They took the opportunity to satisfy their curiosity by pelting Santa with questions about elves and reindeer. Do reindeer take flying lessons? How big is an elf? Don’t elves get tired working so hard? How do they keep all of the children’s Christmas lists organized so they get to the right house? Celia Slater, communications director for AHC, said, “Santa talked individually with each child, and really made everyone feel special.”

AHC provides affordable, safe, and convenient housing and resident services to families who earn between 30-60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). AHC’s Resident Services program is celebrating 25 years of providing programs at six community centers located on-site at AHC’s larger affordable apartment communities in Arlington.

Included in the resident services is a multi-pronged education initiative including the Afterschool Program for elementary students. It is focused on improving students’ literacy skills. AHC is the oldest and largest developer of affordable housing in Arlington, where they have the largest concentration of their properties (24).