November 17, 2017
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
DIAMOND BAR, CA—About 120 Evergreen Elementary students wearing pilgrim and Native American paper hats sat side-by-side for a Thanksgiving feast on Friday morning.
Kindergarten teacher Mona Warren, costumed in traditional dress and moccasins, opened the event with a Native American blessing.
The children echoed each line using hand gestures.
“And now may the great spirits, of all great spirits, be with all of you, now and forever more!” they said in unison.
Then the youngsters joined in a Thanksgiving song with Warren accompanying on guitar.
“The pilgrims came to America a long, long time ago. They sailed on the Mayflower a long, long time ago. They made friends with the Wampanoag a long, long time ago,” they sang.
Before the meal, Warren asked the children to share something they are thankful for with the person next to them.
“I’m thankful for my teacher and everything,” said five-year-old Jeremy Han.
“I’m thankful for my mom,” added classmate Christine Diaz.
“I’m thankful for my toys – all of them!” chimed Evan Tasker.
Then the youngsters began sampling the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, corn bread, and pumpkin pie.
Popcorn filled paper canoes decorated with teepee, buffalo, fire, love, and water symbols were placed at each place setting.
Some of the children gobbled up the traditional holiday meal, while others were content with a tiny taste of each dish.
“Mashed potatoes and popcorn are my favorites!” exclaimed Susanna Basilious wearing a white pilgrim bonnet.
“I like the popcorn and apple juice,” added five-year-old Orlando Perez.
The children also created keepsake handprint placemats and macaroni necklaces for their feast.
Evergreen teachers prepared the food, while about 20 parent volunteers were on hand setting up and serving the November 17 meal.
“We’ve been learning about the Wampanoag nation and the pilgrims,” said kindergarten teacher Diana Rogers.
Kathy Riddle’s transitional kindergarten (TK) class wore decorated vests made from grocery sacks and headbands with features.
“The Wampanoag typically only had one or two feathers,” said the 19-year veteran teacher.
“I’m thankful for my TK students, I just love them,” Riddle added. “And for all my grandbabies!”
Evergreen Elementary School’s youngest students enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast on November 17.
TK teacher Kathy Riddle and students during the Thanksgiving Feast on November 17.
Kindergarten teacher Mona Warren leads children in song during annual Thanksgiving Feast at Evergreen Elementary.