Thanksgiving means many things to different people.
Even in the midst of a surging pandemic, it is a time of family and togetherness.
“I’m thankful that we’re still having a dinner, even though it’s a tough time right now,” Warren Area Elementary Center third grader Lillian Wellner said.
At her table, the tradition is to “go around in a circle and tell what we’re thankful for,” she said.
“I am thankful for my family and friends,” Eisenhower Elementary School kindergartner Autumn Waite said.
Youngsville Elementary School kindergartner Kinsley Dean said she is thankful for her mom because “my mom is nice.”
“It means having my family there with me and having fun and spending time with my family,” fourth grader Jaylee Hamilton said.
“It’s where you can be thankful for people like your family,” WAEC fourth grader Paxton Stover said.
He recognizes that there will be some differences around Thanksgiving this year in light of COVID-19.
His family, like many, is having a smaller gathering than normal.
Students are also thankful for the non-human family members.
Yes, kindergartner Ethan Tarr is thankful for his “little cat Butterscotch” and Penelope Rex said seeing her horse Roxy makes her feel thankful.
For many, Thanksgiving is a time of feasting.
“Everybody comes over to your house to have a big feast with turkey and ham,” Stover said.
“The best part about Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberries,” Warren Area Elementary Center fourth grader Trey Retterer said.
“Most people gather with their family and have a big dinner,” WAEC third grader Nakomis Heeter said.
For her, the turkey, particularly the white meat, is the best part of that feast. And she enjoys breaking the wishbone. “I always win,” she said.
Wellner said Thanksgiving is about “appreciating what we have and celebrating each other’s history.”
Paightyn Gertsch is thankful that technology has come such a long way.
“I’m thankful for what we can have now that people couldn’t have a long time ago,” she said. “We have electronics, stoves, and refrigerators.”
“And getting to be with our family,” she said.
“I’m thankful for having my family all together and having a feast with turkey,” WAEC fourth grader Lelia Barmes said.
Her favorite part is the pineapple stuffing made either by her mother or her Aunt Mary. “It’s so good.”
“I am thankful for my family and my friends,” Retterer said. “I’m thankful for Thanksgiving and every holiday.”
“This is one of the best holidays,” WAEC third grader Ashton Carrington said. “You can gather with your family and see them. Even if some people live farther away, they can come for Thanksgiving.”
In a normal year, he would get to spend the day with 10 or 12 family members.
“I am thankful for having a mom and dad and grandparents that I can see and have fun with and have a house and live peacefully with my family,” he said.
“It’s a time when you get to gather with your family and have a big feast,” WAEC third grader Sorren Check said. “You celebrate the day when the Pilgrims came. You can celebrate that you have a safe country to live in.”
THANKFUL FOR SCHOOL
The school year is already one-quarter over.
Despite an upswing in COVID-19, there hasn’t been a wide-spread shutdown of Warren County School District.
Students and families continue to have the option to attend school in-person.
This Thanksgiving, as students are thinking about what they are thankful for, the people in their lives are at the top of their lists.
And that means many students are thankful that they are getting on buses and going to schools. How else would they see their friends every day?
At Youngsville Elementary School, Parker Drake simply said he is thankful for his mom letting him go to school.
Students at Warren Area Elementary Center have similar feelings.
“I was going to start out virtual,” Sorren Check said. “I’m so happy to be here now and be able to see all my friends.”
“I don’t want to do home-school,” Lelia Barmes said. “No one likes virtual.”
Trey Retterer wouldn’t mind not being in school. But, if he has to attend, he wants to do it in-person.
“We get to see friends,” he said. “That’s the only good part.”