By Randy Rendfeld
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — More than 100 Erskine Elementary School kindergartners enjoyed a feast of Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread and pumpkin pie this week.
One of the five kindergarten rooms there had cupcakes, too, because it was student Aubrey Friend's birthday. The annual feast is hosted by teachers and many volunteer parents.
"It's a good ending connection with what we've studied with Pilgrims and Native Americans and how they helped one another," said kindergarten teacher Michele Anderson, "and we related it to how we can help one another in our own classroom."
Kindergarten teacher Autumn Pratt said, "We just talk about what Thanksgiving is, how it was started, what kind of food they ate. Then parents volunteer to bring in some of the food. Then we talk about what we're thankful for. We sit around the big table just like they did and we have a feast."
Pratt added, "We're celebrating Thanksgiving as a class, being thankful for each other."
Most of the students wore hats they'd made from construction paper.
Asked what Thanksgiving means to her, kindergartner Delaney Hudson said, "It's about celebrating."
Kindergartner Lillian Ringler said her favorite part of Thanksgiving was simply: "Eat." She added that she liked the story of the Mayflower.
Kindergartner Dareion Jones said he learned from the Thanksgiving story to be thankful. And his favorite Thanksgiving food is turkey.
Michele's husband, Doug Anderson, had brought his daughters, ages 10 and 12, to Erskine School to help with the feast. They were already out of school in Lapel, he said.
"It's not about getting all the time. It's about serving," he said. "And that's what the season's about."
He added that helping with the Erskine feast was something the family does every year. "We fell in love with these kids," he said. "They are great."