A good share day

There was plenty to be thankful for Tuesday at Columbus Elementary School, where kindergartners dressed in pilgrim and Native American Indian garb took part in a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

"This is just a joy to have," kindergarten teacher Marilyn Hande said. "All the parents come out to help."

Students filled three long tables in the school cafeteria where they dined on turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Kindergarten families bought the food at Glendale-based Billy's Deli.

"My favorite thing is the pumpkin pie," said Alexandra Ghasabyan, 6.

Dozens of parents, wielding cameras and camcorders, crowded around to partake. And the kindergartners kept them entertained with renditions of three Thanksgiving-themed songs — "It's November," "Turkey Dinner" and "We Give Thanks" — all sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques."

Costumes included vests fashioned from brown paper bags and decorated with different-colored shapes, pilgrim bonnets and top hats and Indian feather headbands.

"I love this event," said Glendale Unified School Board member Christine Walters. "My kids are far beyond this, but it is fun to come back and see how excited the kids are about the meal, about Thanksgiving, about sharing. And they are just adorable."

The annual Thanksgiving celebration, a tradition at many Glendale Unified schools, complements studies about the arrival of the first European settlers to North America, and their struggles to survive the harsh conditions. Kindergartners learn about the relationship between the early pilgrims and the Native Americans, and the support they gave one another, Hande said.

Teachers and students also spend the days leading up to Thanksgiving discussing the importance of giving thanks for family members and friends.

"What I love about it is we are all together," Hande said. "And we are talking about being thankful."

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