Learning thanksgiving at an early age

Nov. 26, 2013 @ 07:12 PM

As parents prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, their children have a wide range of things that they are thankful for this year.

Carmen Castanet’s first-grade class at Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe in Chapel Hill and Lanette Fain’s first-grade class at Parkwood Elementary in Durham took some time to share what they are thankful for this year. The children lined up to talk about some of the things that make their lives great.
Brandon Camacho Rosas said that he is thankful for FPG Bilingüe “because it’s kind of better than kindergarten and I like it because it has a big park.”
In honor of the day of giving thanks, Castanet had the children draw and cut out stars. On each of the points, the children wrote something they were thankful for.
Castanet explained that the students also discussed how to show thanks and what it means to be thankful.
When asked what they were thankful for the responses ranged from pets and cookies to grandmas and friends with a few eye-openers in between.
Jordan Ferrer took the road less traveled when he contemplated what he was thankful for this year. Behind an innocent smile Ferrer said that he was thankful for chicken wings, friends, calendars “because if you don’t have a calendar it may be November first and you won’t know it,” bathrooms “because if not you’d go to the bathroom in your pants” and gold.
Yes, Ferrer said gold. Gold that others will give him and gold that he’s “going to mine by myself and get.”
Luisa Giordano said that she is thankful for cookies and mustaches “because mustaches rock.”
Castanet said that she is thankful that her “students have shown how kind they are to each other,” and how quickly they are learning Spanish in the dual language school.
“A lot of the students didn’t know any Spanish when they came here,” she said. “They had to give it their all to get here and they have worked very hard.”
Bryan Yañez Alfaro finished out Castanet’s group, saying that he was thankful for his dad, pepperoni pizza, his dog Poncho and pet fish.
Over at Parkwood Elementary, Fain’s class also spent time discussing what it means to be thankful.
“I’m thankful for these nice holidays,” said RMon Hodges. “I am thankful for my mom, God, my little cousins … all of my family and Christmas. I hope my family has a nice holiday.”
Autumn Lee said that she is thankful for Thanksgiving food, her mom, dad, sister and her aunt “because I’m glad she’s living with me now.”
Cerenity Williams said, “I am thankful because I have a baby sister, Brooklyn. She’s nice and without her I wouldn’t have anyone to play with. I’m thankful for my dad because he doesn’t make me wear dresses, my mom and my brothers and sisters because they make me happy and when mom and dad are gone, they take care of me, they’re really nice and they feed me.”
Smiling as her students explained why they are thankful, Fain said that she could not have asked for a better group of students.
“I’m very thankful that they are great thinkers,” she said. “I’ve been able to challenge them in ways I’ve never been able to challenge students in the past. They’re really blossoming. Their parents are really involved and that helps a lot.”
Personally, Fain still acknowledges her students among all that makes her life complete.
“I’m thankful that I have a great family, great friends and a great job that I love,” she said. “I’m thankful that I get to come here every day and do what I love.”