By Lt. Michael Betzinger, AA/PIO
Kern Valley State Prison

Staff from Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) recently helped spread the Christmas spirit at two local schools.

Prison staff have watched the children of Pond School grow over the course of the last six years. Every Christmas season, KVSP provides gift cards to all of Pond School’s 217 students.

Pond School is a rural K-8 school located in Kern County just a few miles from the institution.

This year, $25 gift cards were given to the students with the help of Santa Claus and one of his elves. As Santa and staff from KVSP ended the day with the eighth-grade class, it was bitter sweet to know they would not be seeing these students next Christmas.

Warden Christian Pfeiffer was in attendance and let the students know what a pleasure it had been watching them grow from year to year and encouraged the eighth-grade class to continue their studies as they moved on to new challenges in high school.

Meanwhile, prison staff also initiated a toy drive for the students of Cesar Chavez Preschool in Delano. After students sent their gift requests to Santa Claus, KVSP staff went to work collecting over 145 gifts from its employees.

Nearly 30 staff (including Santa) delivered the gifts on Dec. 7 to some very excited children.

KVSP has partnered with Cesar Chavez Preschool in this way for the last several years and is truly grateful for the opportunity to bring joy to the children of Delano.