Decorating Gingerbread Houses for Charity Lifts Students’ Holiday Spirits

American Institute donates gingerbread houses to We Are The Children

Gingerbread decorating at West Hartford Campus

December, 2016, West Hartford, CT – It’s an annual start to the holiday season at the American Institute in West Hartford, CT. Students set aside their studies and turn their attention to decorating gingerbread houses that will be donated to needy children in their community.

“Everyone on campus is invited to participate,” said Campus Director Kim Colbert. “We supply all of the materials, and each team has one hour to decorate a house.”

The students craft whimsical designs from candies, pretzels, gum drops, frosting, cookies and chocolate. The only rule: Everything used must be edible.

“Our students are incredibly creative – and competitive, in a great way,” said Ms. Colbert. “Their houses get very elaborate, because they’re so determined to create a winter wonderland for the kids.”

The completed gingerbread houses are donated to the “We Are the Children” Christmas Party hosted by Gary Craig, morning host on 96.5 WTIC-FM radio. Since 1985, We Are the Children has held an annual party every Christmas day for needy children who have no other place to celebrate the holiday.


Thanks to American Institute students, each child attending the party will take home a hand-decorated gingerbread house.

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Ms. Colbert. “It’s an opportunity for our students to work together to accomplish a goal, building camaraderie through a little healthy competition. It also gives the students a break from their studies to celebrate the season and have some fun, while supporting a worthy cause and giving back to the community.”

American Institute encourages students to give back to their community to build good will and practice the school’s core values of innovation, caring, accountability, integrity, respect and service.

“It’s wonderful to see our students working together to build something so beautiful and then happily giving it away,” said Ms. Colbert. “It really demonstrates the character and generosity of spirit that make American Institute students so special.”

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