Well the bats have flown back to their cave, the jack-o-lanterns have rolled away, and now my room is filled with signs of Thanksgiving. I have often remarked that, at least in the primary grades, the first four months of school are September, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Some of my students have already brought in their assigned ingredients for our contribution to the school’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon. The first-graders are responsible for the hand-made stuffing, and I do mean hand-made. The second-graders make the fruit salad for the feast.
Things are looking much brighter at St. Mary’s School these days. Our custodian, Mr. Bingham, is currently in the process of replacing all of our old lights with new LED bulbs. The LED bulbs produce more light and reduce energy costs. The estimated savings is $1,300 per year. A rebate from DP&L covered about 68 percent of the cost of the new bulbs, which were purchased from Dickman’s Supply.
The first week of November was very full. On Nov. 2, the kindergartners visited the Greenville Public Library. They were given a guided tour of the library. They learned that the original part of the library was built using funds from Andrew Carnegie. They toured the new section of the library. They enjoyed story time, and each child chose a book to bring back to school to share with the class. On Wednesday the Limelighters from Sidney-Lehman High School performed for the students. The Limelighters are Sidney-Lehman’s show choir. On Friday the students enjoyed an early dismissal. The teachers took a refresher course on first-aid and CPR. The good news is if your hearts stops, and I happen to be around, I can perform CPR on you. The bad news is due to my bad knees, you will have to climb up on a table before you pass out. The quarter ended on Oct. 30 and the report cards were available online last Friday.
Nov. 9, the kindergarten visited the fire department. They toured the station and learned about fire safety. They returned to school, wearing fire helmets, just in time for the morning recess. On Wednesday the kindergarten through eighth grades went downtown to support our veterans and watch the annual Veteran’s Day parade. Parent teacher conferences were Thursday after school until eight o’clock. Friday was a day off for both students and teachers.
The Rosary Altar Society’s bazaar is this weekend. The ladies have hand-made items, religious goods, Christmas decorations, and, of course, lots of delicious treats, including their freshly baked cinnamon rolls. On Saturday morning, children from St. Mary’s School sang Christmas carols to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
This Thursday, the kindergarten through fourth grades will be traveling to Dayton to the Victoria Theater to see a production of Madeline and the Bad Hat. This production is part of the Discovery Series sponsored by the Frank M. Tait Foundation.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, the students will be preparing a Thanksgiving Luncheon that will be served on Nov. 25. Each class contributes to the meal by preparing part of the meal. Trust me, you haven’t really lived until you have made stuffing with 12 first graders. I am very fortunate to have a dozen students this year. My recipe calls for a dozen eggs. That means each student gets to crack an egg. When you are in first grade, cracking an egg is a heady experience. All in all the entire process is a little on the messy side, which means the majority of the students love it! I always notice that my second graders who are busy washing fruit in another part of the cafeteria, seem to look longingly at the chaos over by the first graders. All joking aside, the children are very careful when handling the food. They wash their hands both before and after cooking. After three days of preparation, which is reminiscent of the first Thanksgiving, all the students, staff and guests sit down for the meal which is served family style. Many of our alumni who are in high school return that day to visit and share in the meal. All the leftover food is donated to the local soup kitchen.
I looked at my calendar yesterday only to discover that Advent begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Christmas will be here before you know it. I just checked my calendar and we have four weeks to prepare for the Christmas program. I have to say those first four months of school, September, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas just seem to fly by!
On behalf of the students and staff at St. Mary’s School, I would like to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.