First Posted: 11/25/2014
LEHMAN — Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, but the kindergarten students at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School wanted to celebrate early.
The students and teachers had their own Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday in the schools cafeteria where they dressed up as either Pilgrims, turkeys or Native Americans.
Teacher Jennifer Gribble said it’s a way to combine the school’s three kindergarten classes.
“Every year we just have a Thanksgiving feast,” said Gribble. “It just really brings all of the three kindergarten classes together and each class chooses something to dress up as. KA was the Pilgrims, KB, which is my class, we’re the turkeys and KC, they are the Native Americans.”
Each student sat in between someone from a different class, meaning no two Pilgrims sat next to one another and neither did turkeys or Native Americans. Gribble said that was done on purpose to get the students to intermingle with their fellow kindergarten peers from different classes.
The reason for the students wearing the proper attire, according to Gribble, was to remind the students of the first Thanksgiving.
“At the first Thanksgiving, it was the Native Americans and the Pilgrims and, because we have three groups, everybody usually does have turkey on Thanksgiving,” said Gribble. “The kids enjoy it; they make their headbands and costumes on their own, so they enjoy that. It just gets them into the character of the first Thanksgiving.”
Gribble said the costumes took only about two days to make.
The tradition of the kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast has been ongoing at Lehman-Jackson Elementary for around 15 years, according to the kindergarten teachers with Gribble adding that this is not only a fun time for the students, but it also serves as a teaching experience.
“We do incorporate it into our classrooms, of course,” said Gribble. “We share stories about the first Thanksgiving. who was there, how the Pilgrims and the Native Americans worked together and how we all work together here. We also try to incorporate what they’re thankful for and we try to get them to think of things that are special to them like their family, friends and things like that.”
The food the students enjoyed followed the Thanksgiving tradition with little slices of ham and turkey as well as biscuits, cranberry sauce, a think slice of pumpkin pie and an apple juice box.
It was not only the kindergarten teachera who played a part in getting things for the students setup; they soughtoutside help from parents wanting to take part.
Johnette Meader is the mother of student Paige Meader and helped set up the plates, tables and food and also brought pumpkin pie. She agreed to help after Gribble called and asked.
“Mrs. Gribble called and asked me if I would help because they didn’t have any other volunteers,” said Johnette. “I wanted to be here.”
Johnette said her daughter was thrilled when she told her she would be at the school to help with the feast.
“She was really excited,” said Johnette. “She didn’t sleep all night.”
The feast lasted about 45 minutes as the students were eager to fill their empty stomachs and chit chat with their classmates.
The laughter and smiles indicated that the feast was a success, but that came as no surprise to Gribble.
“They always enjoy it,” Gribble said of the student. “They really do enjoy doing these extra activities that we have where we get together. And who doesn’t enjoy eating?”