Community Christian School celebrated Thanksgiving with a feast and program of songs and poems Thursday.
"This is our first- and second-grade pilgrim party," Brady Weller, CCS elementary teacher, said. "It's been an annual tradition at CCS for many, many years. We've been practicing our pilgrim poems and songs, and learning about the 13 colonies, and all the history that's behind Thanksgiving and why we really celebrate it."
Margaret Shields, CCS dean of students, described the day as wonderful.
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
CCS first- and second-graders concluded their Pilgrim Play Thursday by spelling out Thanksgiving and reciting “Lord We Humbly Ask Thy Blessing” to the cheers of their family and fellow students in the audience.
"We have so much in America to be thankful for," Shields said. "It reminds our students of Thanksgiving and being thankful, and it gives us a chance to do things for families and enjoy fellowship with their parents and grandparents."
Preceding the program, a feast was held with students sharing a meal with family and friends.
"The students each brought in ingredients to contribute to the Thanksgiving soup," Weller said. "We put it together and then we serve it. Their bringing in ingredients helped them feel like a part of preparing the feast."
Weller said she enjoys preparing for the Pilgrim Party.
"It's a lot of fun," she said. "The kids enjoy getting dressed up as pilgrims and Indians, and they enjoy learning history because they celebrate Thanksgiving their whole life, but sometimes they don't know why we celebrate. It's good to learn."
The celebration is also a learning opportunity for the students.
"We use some of our poems as reading practice and studying how they rhyme sometimes, or the beat that comes behind a poem," Weller said. "It takes a lot of discipline. Sometimes we went over them several times, but we kept working at it until we got them."
Weller said she has seen students grow with such activities.
"They enjoy sharing everything with their family, and they realize all the hard work pays off in the end," she said. "It's very rewarding for them to share this with their families, and all of our staff, students and friends."
The best part of readying the show, Weller said, is the costumes.
"The costumes are pretty cute, letting them dress up like Indians or pilgrims," she said. "But also just the excitement that comes with sharing the feast with their families and presenting all their poems and songs too."
The program is the first to be held in the school's new building, Shields said.
"It's been a year of firsts, and we are so thrilled at every first that we have in the building," she said. "The space is wonderful, so we can do things like this. We have that opportunity to use so many parts of our building in different ways."