Students celebrate true meaning of Thanksgiving

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Celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday is more than turkey and all the trimmings for pre-first grade students at Sunset Elementary School.

Students taught by Michelle Conroy and aide Brenda Gray spent more than two weeks preparing songs and memorizing lines for a holiday play they performed for parents on Tuesday.

Students also wrote essays throughout the week about turkeys and the meaning behind Thanksgiving.

At the performance, students got into the spirit decked out in pilgrim hats or Indian feathers, symbolizing the historical meal between settlers and Native Americans.

"I'm thankful for people that fight for freedom," student Ricky Southard said in the play.

Other students flashed pictures of things they were thankful for such as food and family.

"I love that they are celebrating Thanksgiving but at the same time they're celebrating the kids," said Elizabeth Ostrander, the school's librarian dressed as the lone pilgrim female among the 13 young male students.

During a Thanksgiving feast after the performance students munched on turkey sandwiches and vegetables. Every year students are treated to the meal that coincides with a lesson on nutrition, Conroy said.

"They've been learning about nutrition and to do this brings all the lessons together," Ostrander said. "The kids go away from the feast not knowing that they've learned a lesson."

While Ricky snacked on his sandwich he talked about some of the things he was thankful for.

"I'm thankful for my family," he said.

"I'm thankful for Thanksgiving when my family has turkey and pumpkin pie. We have a lot of pie."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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