RCS students celebrate giving thanks
ROYALSTON — Students who attend the Royalston Community School celebrated the many things they have to be thankful for on Wednesday, Nov. 25, as grades K through 2 and futures class students presented four individual performances dressed up as Pilgrims and Native Americans for their parents and faculty to the delight of all in attendance.
RSC school nurse Sheila Hall who has served the Athol-Royalston Regional School District since the year 2,000 was proud to discuss the great works of the children and their parents. “The children have a great way to understand what Thanksgiving is all about, what it means, what we are thankful for, and what to remember is important like thinking of others.”
Hall said students and parents together have made many great works of good will come true. “The children and their families have contributed and donated goods for seven food baskets for seven families of RCS students. This helps these children understand we can help our own families in school and it’s a total community effort. Even our kitchen manager Carol Brown and food service staff stuffed a turkey and cooked a meal for a family. In addition at RCS, a parent-teacher group collected and provided a food basket for a family.”
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Steve Meyer was in attendance. He could be seen approaching children in the main hallway before their performance, shaking hands with some of the district’s youngest children, introducing himself, and telling students he was proud of their hard work. Meyer was overheard saying, “I am your assistant superintendent, what’s your name?” Meyer who stayed for the entire event commented, “It’s just great to see so many families come out here with and in support of their children and learn what Thanksgiving is all about.”
In a friendly act, one young student who would only identify himself as “Max” approached the Athol Daily News at RCS and said, “Oh, your from the newspaper, thank you for coming to see us at our school, welcome!”
As the children gathered on stage, something special took place. Students who were not comfortable with standing on stage in front of the many parents and people in attendance, were comforted and supported by their fellow student performers. While speaking and singing in unison about the Pilgrims’ first landing on our shores and what they endured, the support some showed their fellow students may have well been the most inspiring performance of all.
RCS Principal Molly Superchi who was clearly moved by the students’ performance along with parental attendance and support was quick to point out, “Our teachers in grades K - 2 have been working really hard to put on our Thanksgiving feast and working with students to understand the history and meaning of Thanksgiving and I think that this feast is definitely a culmination of that feeling of Thanksgiving. The students’ families have all come together, and all the food brought here today was made and donated by the families. We are so thankful to have so many community members, family members, students and staff here today to spend time together to be thankful and to enjoy a meal together.”
Cindy Drouin, who teaches first grade at RCS, has as with many others been deeply involved with the organizing and preparation for the event. Drouin said, “I guess this is a way to get the families involved with us. The event has grown and grown and grown, and it is unbelievable where it is now compared to when the event started seven years ago.”
Drouin added, “The teachers do a secret Santa every year and this year we decided to take half the price of the last gift and put that price towards a veteran’s family. So they will be getting some money to help out with the holidays from us.”
Explaining the different performances by the children Drouin said, “The first class on stage which was the futures class did a song and a dance, and the second class which was kindergarten students did a poem. The third presentation was the first grade who performed the song Albuquerque Turkey, and last was the second grade recited a poem. We had a nice mishmash of everything.”
Asked how she felt the performances benefited the students, Drouin replied, “Well they definitely had to learn to work together so there is a lot of team work involved. I got to watch the students help with confidence boosting today, and what child doesn’t like to perform for their family!”
Discussing history Drouin emphasized, “We also have to base a lot of it on our curriculum. We have to talk about holidays how they come up, being Thanksgiving and how our country came to celebrate that is a really important thing. The kids learn about forgiveness and being thankful for things.”
At the end of the performances, students, parents, and teachers joined together in a very large potluck style Thanksgiving dinner with the food provided and donated by students families. Superchi, Hall, Drouin, and others all echoed the same message, “This could not happen without all of the dedicated parents of RCS.” Superchi summed it up best with, “This is what being part of the RCS family is all about!”