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December 22, 1997


Bothell couple brings holiday cheer to students


   Karen Diefendorf/staff photo
   Sorenson students got in the spirit of the holidays at the Bothell home of Mary and Jerry Schandorf.

     More than 100 students from the C.O. Sorenson Early Childhood Development Center made the trip to Mary and Jerry Schandorf's Bothell home last week to decorate cookies. Over three days the children gathered around the Shandorf's dining room table and carefully decorated their Christmas cookies. The success of the event was obvious by the smiles and happy licking of fingers. Following the cookie decorating, the children played with Shivers, a stuffed reindeer, enjoyed the music boxes that had been set out for them to enjoy, posed for a group picture around the Christmas tree and then took home goodie packages. The Holiday Cookie event was begun when the couple realized there was no field trip planned for the month of December.
   This is just one of the field trips the special needs students throughout the Northshore School District make during the school year courtesy of the Shandorfs. The couple uses their specially equipped van to provide transportation for field trips. These field trips are important for the children because they provide them with useful skills in learning to communicate and a chance to practice good manners. In addition to the cookie decorating, last Friday the couple took a group of Woodmoor students to the Seattle Children's Museum.
   Because of the Shandorf's generosity and their love for the children, they have become known as Sorenson's 'unofficial grandparents.' Every year at Sorenson's family night, Mary and Jerry dress up as bugs and give out love hugs to the delight of both children and their parents. Other field trips have been to pumpkin patches, grocery stores and pizza parlors.