Inicio Destacado We are Thankful at Alkor

We are Thankful at Alkor

Always on the Fourth Thursday in November, thanksgiving is a time to stop and think about what we are lucky to have in our lives. Thanksgiving is a holiday originating in the United States and Canada that now is celebrated in other parts of the world. Its history dates back to the Mayflower arriving in Massachusetts in 1620, bringing European pilgrims to the New World and the struggles they found when they first arrived. 

Its history dates back to the Mayflower arriving in Massachusetts in 1620, bringing European pilgrims to the New World and the struggles they found when they first arrived. 

 

The pilgrims

The pilgrims arrived in late autumn in Plymouth, just in time for the weather to get colder and winter to begin. It was very difficult for them to begin establishing a society during this time as it was too cold for their crops to prosper on foreign soil and they had to build all their own houses and buildings with the materials they could find. Native Americans had been occupying the land for hundreds of years therefore, they were accustomed to the land and weather conditions. Unable to survive on land, the pilgrims stayed on their ship, the Mayflower, during winter to use as shelter but about half of them died. Once it was warm enough in the spring, they decided to move on land to try to build houses and grow crops. A native american from the Pawtuxet tribe, named Squanto, spoke english and approached the pilgrims and began establishing communication with them. He taught them how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants.

Thanksgiving dinner

But how did Squanto speak english? Years earlier, he had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery in England before escaping and going to London and then returning to his homeland on another ship. Squanto was the reason the pilgrims were able to survive on their crops and maintain their health. In the following November, the governor of the pilgrims decided to have a celebration feast and invited Squanto and his tribe to be a part of it, thanking them for their help. This celebration feast was known as the first thanksgiving. The pilgrims were so thankful to the Native Americans for helping them and giving them an opportunity to prosper in the new world. 

¿Peace?

Unfortunately the peace between the pilgrims and the Native Americans didn’t last and quickly after, the pilgrims pushed the Native American off their land and fighting ensued between them.

Now, in 2022, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving but it has evolved from the very first one, now also called Turkey Day. It is called Turkey Day because turkey is the main dish eaten in mouse households on Thanksgiving Day. It can be roasted in the oven, grilled, or even deep fried, which is how my family cooks our turkey.

Unfortunately the peace between the pilgrims and the Native Americans didn’t last and quickly after, the pilgrims pushed the Native American off their land and fighting ensued between them.

On Thanksgiving day, families come together and spend the day with loved ones and friends and take the day to reflect on what they are thankful for. And of course to bring people together, we use food to share that time together, the Thanksgiving Meal, which is a lunch or a dinner. The typical foods eaten are turkey (of course), stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, Mac & cheese, pumpkin pies, and pecan pie. My personal favorite is sweet potato casserole with candied walnuts on top.  

We are Thankful at Alkor

Here at Alkor school, all students are learning about Thanksgiving in their classes with the Native Teachers through presentations and pictures. They are reflecting and speaking about what they are thankful for, such as family, friends, and teachers.

  • In fifth grade and sixth grade, the students are also writing letters to family and staff at Alkor, telling them why they are thankful.
  • And in secondary, students created ‘pies’ with each slice has a sentence with something that they are thankful for.
  • In primary and secondary, students are decorating leaves with paint, writing some words on each leaf to ‘leaf a message that will last forever.’

Some of these painted leaves are being used to decorate a Thanksgiving Turkey displayed in the front of the primary entrance. In the secondary entrance, there is a thanksgiving table adorned with typical thanksgiving holiday decorations. The english department in secondary has created a pie chart and each department has written what they are thankful for. 

What are we thankful for in 2022?

In 2022, we live in times that can be difficult or challenging. But we can´t let these hardships keep us from remembering to be thankful (agradecida) for what we have. We have our families, our friends, a safe place to live, with clean water, and access to food.

Most of us are lucky to have good health and access to doctors when we need them. And we are especially thankful to be part of the Alkor school community, with wonderful teachers and staff. We have a school with classes, resources, and activities that inspire us to learn, grow, and be our best. And for that, I am especially thankful.


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