The Derry Borough K-9 Unit is sponsoring a Coloring Contest for children ages 12 and under. You may participate in the even by visiting the Facebook page and printing the page, or by messaging your email address. Coloring pages were handed out at a drive-thru event at Mossback Park on Dec. 9.

The first 50 people who attend the drive-thru event received crayons and candy canes. Coloring contest pages must be received by 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 23, at the drop-off box at the Derry Borough police station.

Eligible children will have the chance to win K-9 hoodies and gift cards. Entries will be judged in three age groups with tip prizes for each. Entries will be posted upon receipt and the winners will be announced by Wednesday, Dec. 23.

* * *

The Derry Volunteer Fire Department (Station 41) is excited to announce that Santa will be arriving in Derry at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, for its annual Santa run on one the department’s fire trucks. The department looks forward to seeing you all smile from year to year and wishes everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas.

* * *

Bradenville Fire Department has announced that on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19, Santa Claus will be making his way through the Derry Township. He wants all the little boys and girls to know, as much as he wants to see everyone, there isn’t enough time to do so. He’s asking everyone who lives in more secluded areas to come to the main roads during that time.

* * *

The Derry Area School District board-approved school district calendar shows that district offices will be open for business on Dec. 30. But during the holiday vacation, and because of COVID-19, please be advised that all school building offices will be closed for in-person activity on Dec. 30.

You can still reach office personnel through the email or phone information below. Please call your child’s school office should you have any concerns.

Contact information:

  • Grandview — email at or phone 724-694-1401 option No. 4;
  • Middle school — email at or phone 724-694-1401 option No. 3;
  • High school — email at or phone 724-694-1401 option No. 2.

* * *

Derry Area High School freshman Piper Anke, who was the very first Banana Split Princess, is hosting the “Holly Jolly Christmas in Latrobe” series this month.

They have filmed (and are still filming) eight 20 to 30-minute episodes of variety holiday content that are running Tuesdays and Thursdays in December. Three episodes have aired so far. You can view them on the links below, or go to the Derry Area School District homepage or Facebook page and click the links. Derry Area High School Senior Anna Oshie also shared some Christmas music on the first episode.

Holly Jolly Christmas in Latrobe videos:

* * *

Derry Area High School Director of Media Services Tracey Smeltzer writes in to the Diary:

“2020 has certainly been an interesting year. We have had to make so many changes and adjustments to our daily lives. While things may be different and may not look the same as they have in years past, I am pleased to say that the Derry Area Education Association will team with the Diner’s Club, St. Martin’s and Derry United Methodist Church to sponsor the Christmas Dinner Box Project.

“Many of you have already reached out to ask if we will be providing Christmas Dinner Boxes to families in our community this year, and we have already begun to see donations coming in! Sadly, due to COVID-19 the KIND Closet open house will not be taking place. Many of you have been asking about that program as well, we hope to be able to bring it back when things return to normal.

“We once again hope to provide food for 130 to 140 families in the Derry Area with Christmas Dinner Boxes. $50 helps provide items such as a ham, potatoes, eggs, milk and other staples to families to help them through the Christmas break. We know this year, more than ever, many families are struggling, and this program can help alleviate some of the burden. If you would like to donate, please do! Checks can be made out to Derry Area High School with Diner’s Club on the memo line. Please mail to: The Diner’s Club ℅ Tracey Smeltzer Derry Area High School, 988 N. Chestnut St. Ext., Derry PA 15627.

“Thank you and Merry Christmas. Have a safe and healthy remainder of 2020 and the new year!”

* * *

Derry Area School District 21st CCLC Program Director Debbie Gray would like to share that the after-school program (aft3r@dasd) will be offered virtually throughout the month of December. Elementary students can join in on the fun from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 4 to 5 p.m. Friday on days school are in session. Secondary students are invited to attend from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program is free to students in the Derry Area School District K-12. A variety of STE(A)M activities are planned daily.

To register, go to A follow-up email will be sent upon registration. Need more information? Email Debbie at Sign up today!

* * *

Looking for a unique and special gift for the person that is so difficult to buy for? We have a great gift idea for you! Give them the gift that continues giving, to children!

A unique opportunity to enrich the lives of the youngest amongst us with the gift of learning is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, now available to the children of Derry Area School District! This program, established in 1995, provides quality, age appropriate books once a month to children from birth until their fifth birthday. The books are selected by a committee of education and child development experts. The books are free to the children and mailed directly to them each month.

Thanks to grants from Latrobe Elks Lodge No. 907 and the Derry Area School District Foundation, we are able to register our first group of recipients. However, our goal is not to register some of our children. Our goal is to register every eligible child in Derry Area for this program.

We’re hoping to fund a large number of our recipients through sponsorships. It costs just $25 to sponsor a child for a full year of membership in the Imagination Library. That’s less than $2.10 a month for a child to have a high-quality book mailed directly to his or her home! Anyone wishing to give the gift of books can send their donation to: Derry Area School District Foundation, Attn. Brenda Bitz, 982, North Chestnut Street Ext., Derry, PA 15627.

Please memo your check “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library” or “DPIL”. Also, please include your email address so you can receive updates on the books that children receive each month and other facts about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, early literacy and events for Derry Area’s Pre-K population. For questions concerning donations, please contact David McCleary at or call 724-694-2780, ext. 3312.

This is a unique and special way to impact the lives of our very youngest Trojans and help them improve their quality of life and chances for success in school and beyond. We hope everyone will find it in their hearts to give the gift of books to the youngest children of Derry Area.

If anyone has any questions concerning registration, please contact Mrs. Barbie Jones at or call 724-694-1400, ext 1377. Please also watch for information and articles on the project in the Derry Diary and on social media. May you and yours have a blessed and happy holiday season!

* * *

Have a great weekend and let’s go Steelers!

* * *

Derry Diary items may be emailed to

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.