Season of Wishes: Pleasant Acre Day School getting by

Published 10:10 pm Friday, December 11, 2020

By HUNTER CLOUD

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Generous donations from the Miss-Lou community keep Pleasant Acre Day School open to teach valuable skills to mentally and physically challenged adults.

Pleasant Acre Day Schiool teaches students through different activities. One such activity is a Mardi Gras beads fundraiser where students sort beads and interact with people, an activity that is in jeopardy this year because of COVID-19, an administrator said.

Fundraisers held in May for Pleasant Acre’s annual Biloxi trip puts surplus money into the school’s operating funds, but COVID-19 canceled the fundraiser this year and closed Pleasant Acre from March to September, said Mary Ann Foggo-Eidt, Pleasant Acre director. 

Pleasant Acre is still in operation but the students are limited in what they can do because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Foggo-Eidt said, adding attendance has dropped as parents keep students at home.

The school, however, Foggo-Eidt said, still serves those students.

“The school is operating just like it always has; it is just operating on a smaller number,” Foggo-Eidt said. “They all deserve the camaraderie and they need the interaction with people. I’m hoping when things settle down, and we get the vaccine going hopefully my class will be full again.”

For Halloween, Pleasant Acre delivered trick-or-treat bags to the students.

Foggo-Eidt said Santa Claus recently brought gifts to the school and his elves helped deliver the presents to the students after the school’s Christmas party was canceled.

Foggo-Eidt said that this year more than ever the school needs the community’s help as Pleasant Acre does not receive federal or state funds. Founded in 1959 as a non-profit, Pleasant Acre has survived off of the generosity from the community for 61 years, she said.

“To operate you have to have some financial funds,” Foggo-Eidt said. “It is our greatest need right now.”

Natchez residents have shown how generous they are in previous years through donations of a new van and air conditioning unit, Foggo-Eidt said. Donations of any amount to the school are appreciated. Checks can be made out to Pleasant Acre Day School, and addressed to P.O. Box 1362, Natchez, MS 39121.

Foggo-Eidt said Pleasant Acre will return to its regular routine, including the annual Biloxi trip and fundraiser, once the pandemic becomes less serious.

“I’m confident that we will keep going and this too shall pass,” Foggo-Eidt said. “That is my hope and my wish for Christmas.”