SYSK: Starmont students give up their Christmas for a classmate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Starmont students give up their Christmas for a classmate


A surprise Christmas party, complete with gifts, was in honor of Xavier Roach.

He's a fourth grader at Starmont Elementary School in Arlington, but he hasn't been in school for more than a year.

In November of 2010, Xavier was diagnosed with leukemia. He underwent a bone marrow transplant and is doing well. He even hopes to be back in school next semester.

Xavier's fellow fourth graders wanted to wish him a Merry Christmas and let him know they're excited for him to come back to school.

Instead of a classroom gift exchange, the students collected money to buy presents for Xavier.

"So we didn't give any dollar amount on how much money. They could bring whatever. We said go check from change. We had 42 kids, so we thought if they all brought a dollar, we'd get $42. They brought $313," said teacher Janet Swanson.

With half the money, the students got Xavier a video game, a movie and....

"It's a spy cam helicopter. You can spy on people and plug it into your computer," said Xavier Roach.

"So who are you going to spy on?"

"My brother," Roach responds. 

The other half of the money, more than $100 is going to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City in Xavier's name.

"I think they're a special group of kids to want to do that for a friend as young as they are," said Swanson.

Xavier said he was a little scared to open his presents in front of everyone, but he certainly seemed to enjoy himself.

"I think it was pretty great," he said.

Self-lessness and kindness from two classes of Starmont fourth graders.

"We told them this is something you'll probably remember for years to come. What you did for a classmate to make his Christmas a little brighter," said teacher Janet Swanson.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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