Our Thanksgiving gathering is a joyous event, bringing our early childhood, elementary, and middle school students, their parents, their teachers and staff all together for a heartfelt and meaningful celebration.
It was incredibly heartwarming to hear the hum of joy that filled our building these past weeks as we approached our first community event of the year. It has been three long years since we have all been able to gather together in the gym. As the children designed their place cards and plasticine holders, added their annual illustrations to the treasured tablecloths, and cooked together with their class, they reflected on past years and all the memories we have shared at previous gatherings. Listening to their memories, there is no doubt how deeply meaningful it has always been to come together and celebrate as a group.
'Looking out' has been at the center of our discussions these past weeks and was the inspiration for this year’s mural series, painted by mixed-age groups of children from the elementary and middle school classes. What has kept us going for the past three years? Looking out for each other and looking ahead at what is possible. Time and time again, looking out has nourished us with hope and connection.
While we had been anticipating Tuesday's event, nothing could have prepared us for how special it would be to have all 200 of us - Studio students, teachers, parents, and friends - singing, eating, laughing, and conversing together in the Gym. The gathering began with a welcome from Ms. Rotter who spoke about the power of gathering and the collective strength, hope, and love that we have shared together. The 8th graders then recited the poem “Lighthouse” by Amanda Gorman, followed by a community sing-a-long of new and traditional songs.
We then sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal of roast turkey, baked beans, quinoa and brown rice stuffing, cornbread, green beans, whipped sweet potatoes, Mr. Welber's special cranberry sauce, and of course, everyone's favorite - pumpkin pie! Each dish was cooked by Chef Quinde and student chefs and teachers in each class.
From the words sung in each song, to the beautiful imagery in the murals painted and hung on the walls, messages of our shared gratitude, strength and love were abound. One student reflected, “Every year, when I walk into the gym and see all the finished murals and all the tables set, I think to myself... We did it again! And I remember that anything is possible.”