St. Mary students' thanks ranges from 'earrings' to 'the whole world'

November 26, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Family, God, the "whole world" and earrings are among the things kindergartners at St. Mary Elementary School are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Teachers at the school spent about two weeks preparing their students for Thanksgiving. They read stories about Pilgrims and American Indians, talking about the hardships Pilgrims faced on the Mayflower and in the new world, teacher Dana Hilmoe said.

On Wednesday morning, the children showed off what they learned, singing Thanksgiving songs to a group of parents and grandparents in the school cafeteria. Afterward, they enjoyed a feast, about half of which the students helped prepare.

Each child mixed his or her own cornbread, each peeled an apple for homemade applesauce, and they made their own butter by shaking heavy whipping cream and salt, Hilmoe said.


Turkeys crafted from pine cones decorated the table, and each child wore a brown-bag vest decorated with American Indian symbols. They also made macaroni necklaces out of dried noodles that Hilmoe dyed bright colors.

During the singing portion of the event, students shook tom-toms made from painted milk cartons, also decorated with symbols they studied in class.

Gabriella Tedeschi, 5, said she liked the singing part of Wednesday's program best.

Jack Minahan finished his pumpkin pie and licked his fingers as he talked about what he's thankful for.

"I am thankful for God, and all the wonderful things we have today, and school," said Jack, 6.

Jack's friend, Jaden Shabelski, 5, had a long list of what he's thankful for.

"My friends, my family, my mom, my dad, my sister, my dog ... I'm thankful for my whole family," Jaden said.

"I'm thankful for the whole world," he said.

Meredith Kozal, 5, said she was thankful for her brother. When prompted, she said she also was thankful for "my friends ... and earrings."

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