Ask a kindergartener about Thanksgiving and you will get some pretty interesting answers.

And the students in Mary Rose DeBlasio’s classroom at the New Castle Area School District’s Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center had plenty to say when it comes to turkey day.

The 5-year-olds were in high spirits when family members visited their classroom Monday to share a meal provided by their parents, which included turkey donated by Greg Measel and the Crane Room.

As excited as they were, the students knew that the day they were celebrating was about more than food.

So what do they think Thanksgiving is about?

Kaden Weston was the first to respond. Thanksgiving, he said, “means to be kind.”

Khloe Mesol added that it is about “caring and doing things,” and Naddalynn Traylor noted that “kind and helpful” are Thanksgiving mainstays.

All the children raised their hands when asked ‘Who is thankful for their parents?” But what other things are important in their lives?

Cayde Thomas, who had written a declaration at his seat that he is thankful for hugging, added aloud that “I’m thankful for my friends.”

“I’m happy for my school,” Mason Smiley said, a sentiment echoed by Johnny Warren. Kinslee Thomas added, “I’m thankful for my teacher.”

“It’s a great school,” Kaden agreed.

But he did have one area that he thought needed work.

“But they don’t have bumper cars,” he said.

Moving on.

Next was the Thanksgiving menu.

The students shared what they like to eat for Thanksgiving. “Turkey” was a popular answer, although Jase O’Hare said he is not a fan.

Johnny declared that he is partial to blueberry pie, and later discovered, as the classroom meal was served, that he also likes heretofore shunned mashed potatoes.

Cayde opted for the most traditional of Thanksgiving desserts, pumpkin pie.

But about that turkey — how does one prepare it?

“Just get a turkey and kill it,” Kaden offered.

Other students noted that the bird must also be cooked, with Carter Johnson prescribing four hours in the oven. Before that happens, Kareem Campbell said, “you put bread in it,” and Naddalyn added the helpful hint that “You make it with powder and eat it.”

Punctuation can be challenging even for adults, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that when Kaden heard “turkey, pie” on a list of Thanksgiving menu items, he misinterpreted it as  “turkey pie.”

“Not turkey pie!” he exclaimed. “That’s a gross thing.”

Ultimately, while the students were excited to celebrate Thanksgiving and no doubt were looking forward to Christmas as well, at least one was thinking even longer term.

Raising her hand enthusiastically about her plans, Naddalyn smiled, “I want to be Batgirl for Halloween.”


Dan, editor, started with The News in 1978 and spent 10 years as a sports writer. He's been a general assignment reporter, copy editor, paginator and Lifestyle editor. He's a '78 Slippery Rock University graduate with a B.A. in English.

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