Thanksgiving Letter from Leslie Hites, Founder, The Renaissance School

Happy Thanksgiving. I would like to share with you how our school celebrates this holiday.

Preparations for the Thanksgiving Feast begin on Monday, November 21, 2011 when our students start to prepare the food for the Thanksgiving Feast that is held on Wednesday at noon.

 The Thanksgiving Feast is a very special celebration at The Renaissance School. For me, it is the most beautiful event we celebrate all year. All the students and the staff gather to share a meal that has been collaboratively prepared by all the students. It is a time when we also share all the things we are grateful for as individuals and as a community. The Primary and Elementary students and the staff share tables so that they can become better acquainted and enjoy each other’s company. The Pre-primary children sit together with their teachers so as to not disturb their sense of order.  Traditionally the elementary students have hosted this event and thus are in charge of setting up the tables and chairs, decorating the environment and also, of setting the tables and placing the name cards. When the Pre-primary and Primary students arrive, the Elementary students welcome them and escort them to their places.

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All the children in the school share the responsibility of preparing the turkeys, the gravy, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the yams, the salad, the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin pies and even the centerpieces for the tables. The Pre-primary students prepare the corn bread and help wash and tear the lettuce for the salad. Most everything is prepared from scratch and it is delicious. It is an incredible experience to see all the platters set on the buffet tables before the meal is served. How proud every student feels recognizing the dishes they prepared! By Wednesday, November 23, each one of our students will have contributed their part in preparing a meal for about 150 people! Of course none of this will happen without the children’s cooking partners, their teachers and their infinite patience and perseverance.

 The community participation in this event also includes the parents who shop for us and who iron the tablecloths we use at the feast. It is not surprising that it is always at this time of the year that some of our elementary students start realizing and commenting on the support they receive from the parents and teachers of the community!

 We plan to take pictures of the Thanksgiving Feast to share with you as well as some of the wonderful comments we hear from the children on such an occasion.

 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!