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Schoolchildren give thanks
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Thursday, 24 November 2011 00:00

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, Nov. 24, and while people across the country sit down to enjoy a meal with family and friends to reflect a moment on what exactly they are thankful for, the students at Camp Verde Elementary School have already gotten a head start.

Take the second-graders in Jessie Price’s class. Every day this month they’ve been writing down something they are thankful for and putting in their individual turkey-shaped baskets pinned to a bulletin board.

Thankful for snacks: Second-grade students Shelby Froust, right, and Taylie Reebes eat some of the candy and nuts used by a classmate to decorate a paper turkey Thursday, Nov. 17. Once they fill it up, they’ll take their notes to share with their family on Turkey Day. There’s a lot of turkey going around the second-grade hall. The students put much creative effort into designing their own feathered friends which line the hall, making their birds stand out with a diverse range of materials from beans and rice to feathers and gumdrops.

The gumdrop turkey also seemed to have a more practical purpose for many students, as it seemed to have been occasionally snacked on by passersby.

Family and food were a common theme among the children’s blessings that they count, including one young lady who was excited to travel to California to see her extended family at her grandmother’s house.

“We’re having it at her house because she’s really old,” said the girl, who can’t be named in the newspaper at the request of her family. “I am thankful for my family because I know they love me and care for me.”

Others have smaller families, but they are no less thankful.

“I’m thankful for my brother,” said Daniel Camacho, quick to point out that he’s 7 “and a half.”

He’ll be 8 in December, and the proximity of his birthday to Christmas gives him another reason to be thankful.

“I get double presents,” Daniel exclaimed, stopping to point out that his wall turkey is also a racetrack.

Daniel said he’s excited for the turkey, but he may have to find other options for dessert.

“My mom doesn’t cook pie,” Daniel said.

“I’m thankful for my mom and sister,” said Taryn Curley, 7. “She’s 5 and in kindergarten.”

Other students took a more spiritual view of what they’ll be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

“I’m thankful for God,” said Justin Munger, age 7, and likely the only second-grader at CVES wearing a necktie that day. “And the soldiers that fought for this country.”

Justin also cracked that he was wearing the tie in order to “look sharp for the newspaper.”

Cheyenne Pearson, 7, was thankful she was going to see her grandfather, coming in for the holidays from North Dakota.

It’s been awhile, Cheyenne said, to the point where she can’t remember the last time she saw him.

Fellow student Kassiah Sandoval also said getting to see her grandfather was going to be a highlight for her Thanksgiving Day.

Of course, the thankfulness isn’t limited to human family members.

“I’m thankful for my mommy and daddy and grandparents and my dog Dandy,” said 8-year-old Kailyn Loveless. “We sometimes call her puppawuppy. We call her that because she is a lovely dog.”

Justin chimes in to ask what kind of dog it is.

“Is it a pit bull? Is it a poodle?” inquires Justin.

“It’s a girl dog,” replies Kailyn, before eventually revealing the secret that Dandy is a Chihuahua.

Another schoolmate then went on to relate a seasonably appropriate tale about how the Pilgrims used to think that ghosts were eating their crops, so they started to put food out to feed the ghosts, and Halloween was born.

It would seem those settlers at Plymouth had no idea just how influential they would end up being on the modern American holiday calendar.

The Pilgrims got another shout-out from Nick Meredith, 8.

“I’m thankful for the Pilgrims and my parents,” Nick said. “I’m thankful that the Pilgrims came to America, because if they didn’t, we’d all still be in England.”

Classmate Matthew Loza, 7, thought for a moment and agreed with Nick’s assessment.

“And that would just be too crowded,” Matthew said.

 

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