11/25/10 — What's Thanksgiving all about? Turkey, football and Sarah, of course

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What's Thanksgiving all about? Turkey, football and Sarah, of course

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 25, 2010 12:07 AM

Thanksgiving, according to a class of fourth-graders, is all about turkey, a woman named Sarah and a football game or two.

Several students in Kathy Drew's class at Spring Creek Elementary School shared their own take of the holiday during a recent interview by the News-Argus.

"You go with your family for Thanksgiving and you celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and family," said Bianca Cueras-Barraza.

"We have turkey, too," added Yolanda Morales.

Ian Scott's family may also enjoy a bit of the bird, but not the one that's granted immunity.

"They pardon a turkey every Thanksgiving," he said. "They save its life and let it go to another farm and live its life like it should be."

Earlier in the week, the class had visited the school library, where they learned about how the day came into prominence.

"This woman named Sarah saved Thanksgiving because there was a war and different stuff going on and she tried different ways to try and make Thanksgiving a national holiday," said Timothy Newkirk. "She asked every president but every single one except Abraham Lincoln said no. He made it a holiday."

"Sarah wrote many letters, I think, to the president," added Nadia Swinson.

They were referring to Sarah Hale, whose 17-year campaign resulted in the occasion being recognized as a U.S. holiday in 1863.

But well before that, Lanazja Alexander said, was the better known story of the very first Thanksgiving.

"The Pilgrims came to America and they didn't know how to grow crops and things like that so the Indians taught them and they didn't have like turkey and stuff like we did," she said. "They had other things -- candied yams, carrots, corn."

The Indians were an important part of the celebration, agreed Lorenzo Ponce.

"I think they became friends with each other," he said. "They taught (the Pilgrims) how to grow crops, how to catch fish and how to hunt."

The day traditionally is observed in November, added Gustavo Avalos.

"Families get together and celebrate, have fun and have turkey," he said.

"It's about spending time with their families," said Brooke Martin.

"And to eat," added Aaron Wiseman.

Zoey Lane said, "It's a day to thank people and to eat turkey, and to have family there, like to spend time with each other and friends."

Several had their own list of things they were thankful for this holiday season.

Metta DeLeon said she's grateful for family and food.

"For letting my dad off on Thanksgiving so we can all eat turkey," Lorenzo said.

"For family and friends," said Gustavo.

"I'm thankful for God letting us grow the crops for eating and letting us eat different kinds of food for Thanksgiving and for families and friends," said Timothy.

"I'm thankful for my cousins coming over and playing football," Ian said.

For more photographs of Wayne County students preparing for Thanksgiving, see the News-Argus Photo Gallery.