Schools across the Mount Vernon City School District celebrate Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving celebrations occurred throughout the Mount Vernon City School District during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Students and staff throughout the district participated in fun, educational activities and ate a wide variety of Thanksgiving foods.
Scholars at Nelson Mandela/Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer enjoyed Thanksgiving feasts and decorated Thanksgiving placemats. One class hosted a Thankful with a Twist Dinner on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. There was traditional Thanksgiving food, and students brought in foods from their own cultures. There were dishes and desserts from Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Jamaica.
“Yearly, I always give a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but now this classroom is extremely diverse. I’m very big on highlighting that diversity, and they’re very proud about their cultures and traditions," said Kenyatta Hopkins, a fifth-grade teacher at NMHZ.
“Thanksgiving means to me celebrating other family members and having fun and celebrating at home and school. I’m thankful for my family,” said Kiyan Grant, a fifth-grader at NMHZ.
“Thanksgiving is about seeing family and thanking your family, then eating food and thanking your mother and father for all they do,” said Amelia Gonzalez, a fifth-grader at NMHZ.
On Monday, November 21, pre-kindergarten students at Cecil H. Parker School performed as pilgrims on the Mayflower in their assembly. The student dressed up as pilgrims and presented the assembly for other students.
Hamilton School held its annual Thanksgiving feast for kindergarten through third-grade students on Tuesday, November 22. Volunteers lined up the hallway with a full Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham and just about every traditional Thanksgiving side. Students had their manners on full display. As the volunteers served them, there was a chorus of students saying, “Thank you!”
“My favorite part of Thanksgiving is that you can eat. I love to eat,” said Sekai Russell, a second-grade student at Hamilton School.
Grimes School held a Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday, November 22. Students in different classrooms participated in their own celebrations. One first-grade class had a competition to make the best clay turkey.
Middle school students at Grimes School celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with International Day. Students and staff shared foods, drinks and desserts that embraced their culture. From stew chicken and rice and peas to morro and mac and cheese, students and staff spent the afternoon traveling to different cultures through food. One thing that all cultures shared during this event is the importance of breaking bread to symbolize the value of bonding with others and building community. There were many other Thanksgiving celebrations throughout the building, and students celebrated the holiday with their friends before going home to celebrate with family.
Pennington School held a Friendsgiving feast on Tuesday, November 22. The meal’s purpose was to foster unity and acceptance amongst students and staff. On Wednesday, November 23, students came to school in their pajamas for the Pennington Thanksgiving Parade. Several classes made intricate floats to ‘drive’ down the hallways, and most students carried smaller floats in their hands. There were floats of snowmen, turkeys, minions and elves. Once the congression traveled upstairs, the middle schoolers were lining the hallway to cheer for the younger students participating in the parade.
On Wednesday, November 23, Rebecca Turner Elementary School hosted its first Balloons Over Broadway Parade. As a school-wide activity, classes read the story “Balloons Over Broadway” by Melissa Sweet. The book introduces students to Tony Sarg, the puppeteer and inventor behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In classes, students watched clips of the parade as well.
A culminating stem activity challenged students to create balloon characters for their own school-wide parade on Thanksgiving Eve. Classes walked around the hallways showing off their balloons while onlookers clapped and cheered. RTES is continually looking to implement activities that foster creativity and learning in a fun and engaging way.
Mount Vernon STEAM Academy hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for their 12th-grade students. Everyone got a chance to eat a Thanksgiving meal with their peers and reflect on what they are grateful for so far this school year.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy also invited everyone in the main district office for a Thanksgiving breakfast on Tuesday. She thanked everyone for their hard work during her time as superintendent, but she reminded everyone that there is still work to be done.
“When you are home eating with your family, I want you to think about how you can make improvements for our children,” said Dr. Bennett-Conroy. “I will be doing the same.”