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An early Thanksgiving at Valley Crossing Elementary

More than a hundred families gathered at Valley Crossing Elementary school for a pre-Thanksgiving feast. Students, grades two and three, gave presentations and shared a meal with their families during the Wednesday afternoon event. (Bulletin photo by Youssef Rddad)1 / 4
To the tune of 'Jingle Bells', a group of Valley Crossing Elementary School third-graders performs the song 'Dinner Bells' and gasp before finishing the singing the lyrics that the “turkey got away.” (Bulletin photo by Youssef Rddad)2 / 4
Valley Crossing third grader Adithya Babusankar reads what he's thankful for as his teacher, Kurt Albers, holds up Babusankar's poster. (Bulletin photo by Youssef Rddad) 3 / 4
Valley Crossing third-graders Annett and Victoria Carranza share a meal with their mother Erika during the school's Thanksgiving event the on Nov. 23. (Bulletin photo by Youssef Rddad)4 / 4

Valley Crossing students and families got into Thanksgiving spirit Wednesday during a pre-holiday feast at the Woodbury elementary school.

Featuring presentations on the history of Thanksgiving, a musical performance, a meal and more, the event drew more than a hundred second- and third-graders and their families,

The event hadn’t been hosted for a number of years, but parents and students felt it'd be a nice way to welcome a new third-grade class and get to meet each other's families.

“It's an important part of the work we do at this school,” said Valley Crossing Principal Lela Olson. “I think provided a nice opportunity for families to come together and interact with their children's peers and their family members."

Families contributed by bringing in food to share in the feast and helped set up inside the school's gym.

Before breaking bread, students also performed a song and read from posters they made about what they were thankful for.

Throughout the month, students in third-grade teacher Laura Larsen class embarked on a literary and multimedia exploration to better understand the history behind the first Thanksgiving.

They presented what they learned after a month of research with the goal of retelling a more accurate version of the history behind the holiday. Some of the points included how the festival lasted for three days, as well as 17th-century settlers and the Wampanoag people's cultures.

"Part of the idea is that we sometimes don't teach the historical component of it because it's not mandated by any sort of standard," Larsen said. "So we just thought, why not work in the excitement of Thanksgiving and teach the facts?"