The Glen Rose Independent School District has launched its annual Christmas Express program to help needy kids get some of their holiday wishes fulfilled.

Each campus approaches the program a little differently. At Glen Rose Elementary School, teachers do the shopping and donating. Other campuses use the traditional “angel tree” approach and ask the community to choose one or more children and buy them gifts.

Although GRISD is considered by the state to be a “property rich” school district in terms of taxable property — largely due to tax monies from the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant — almost half of its students are considered to be from a low socio-economic demographic.

If you’ve never participated in Christmas Express before, it’s a very satisfying experience to know that you’ve helped a child and brought some light into his or her life. That’s what the meaning of Christmas is all about, isn’t it?

Angel trees are located at the junior high campus, inside Town and Country Bank, Brookshire’s and Glen Rose High School. The high school hosted a craft fair Tuesday to raise money for its gift fund. Community donations also help fund the program.

The elementary school does not have an angel tree. Typically, teachers at the school purchase toys and clothes and are reimbursed through the school’s Christmas Express fund. The school will hand out donations to its underprivileged students on Dec. 13.

“We get people to sign up when they need help,” said Linda Dunbar, who coordinates the Christmas Express program at Glen Rose Elementary. “Teachers sign up to purchase gifts. We ask parents to give us clothing sizes and to suggest a toy.

“The teachers do it because they want to,” Dunbar added

This year the elementary school expects to help about 100 children. Even with the weak economy, that’s not as many as the high of 140 children several years ago.

Glen Rose Intermediate partners with Town and Country Bank for its annual angel tree. Only about half of the angels have been adopted so far. Their names are written on red and green stocking-shaped cards on display in the bank. It's one of the most beautiful angel trees around. Go in, take a look and help fulfill a child's wish.

“The parent has to come to the campus and fill out a request" to be included on the tree, Intermediate School Principal Lauri Mapes said.

For more information or to donate money or items, call Linda Dunbar at Glen Rose Elementary School, 898-3500; Carla Swearengin at Glen Rose Intermediate School, 898-3600; Stephanie Rotan at Glen Rose Junior High, 898-3700; or Susan Bruce at Glen Rose High School, 898-3800.