Santa makes a surprise visit at Alpine school |

Santa makes a surprise visit at Alpine school

Alpine Early Learning Center’s preschool children were in the middle of singing “Here comes Santa Claus,” during the center’s Christmas Celebration Thursday, when to their surprise, St. Nick himself walked into their school.

“Do you know what today is,” Santa asked the children. “Today is winter solstice, it is the shortest day of the year and the day the elves stop making toys and start preparing for the big night. That means any last minute request should be in today.”

Santa led the children in a verse of “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” before they lined up to share their Christmas list with the jolly one.

Savannah Bush, 4, and Ayanna Valdivia, 3, waited to sit on Santa’s lap together.

Savannah said her favorite thing about Christmas is the presents and her favorite Christmas song is “Jingle Bells.”

After sitting with Santa, kids were given presents provided by “Chips for Kids” through the California Highway Patrol.

The Christmas program was organized by Alpine Early Learning Center mom Rachel Radach.

“This is our last year at Alpine so we wanted to do it just to have fun,” Radach said.

Radach said her children will be graduating from the preschool and moving on to elementary school next year.

“Every year we have a winter celebration and invite the community to come and see what the kids have done and what they are learning,” Alpine County Superintendent Dr. Patrick Traynor said. “Rachel did a great job of making it bigger and successful this year.”

Radach coordinated a food drive which will be donated to the food closet and got Alps House, a local cafe to cater the event.

The children made the decorations for the event including giant lollipops lining the sidewalk of the school, painted snowflake table cloths and toilet paper roll Christmas trees.

“We really did it to invite the community together and see what the children are doing here and hopefully get more kids out here,” Radach said. “It’s a great preschool. They do a lot of nature lessons and everything is very hands-on learning.”

Alpine County resident Samantha Washam said her brother and sister attended the school when they were younger and now her children attend the preschool.

“I loved it when my brother and sister came here and I knew it was somewhere I wanted my children to go too,” she said. “I love the staff, they’re like family.”

Washam’s 8-month-old daughter Lorelei, currently goes to Alpine Early Learning Center and her daughter Daviina, 6, recently graduated from the preschool.

“My kids have learned a lot since coming here, it’s just a great school and they do these kind of events all year round to help you meet the teachers and come together and have fun, it’s great,” she said.

The Alpine Early Learning Center is offered through the Alpine County Unified School District and Office of Education.

For more information about Alpine Early Learning Center, 530-694-1673 or visit