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Kindergarteners enjoy Thanksgiving feast

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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Creekside Oaks Elementary School kindergarteners now understand the true meaning and history of Thanksgiving, even educating their parents. “They really learned a lot,” said Crystal Martin, whose son, R. J., is in Regina Hinnenkamp’s kindergarten class. “R. J. told me some things I didn’t even know.” As students donned their costumes last Friday, made from grocery bags and construction paper, Hinnenkamp directed students to their proper spots in a pageant that reenacted the first Thanksgiving. “We won’t be having the feast for three days, though,” Hinnenkamp told her class. With many conflicting sources, Hinnenkamp stressed, an emphasis was made on historical accuracy so she chose National Geographic’s version as it seemed “the most authoritative.” The pageant featured Native Americans sitting on the carpet while pilgrims stood behind their construction-paper Mayflower and sailed to the Americas with the King of England standing in their wake. Upon landing, the Mayflower was shucked aside and the two groups mingled, with the natives passing out corn to the pilgrims. The kindergarteners sang Thanksgiving songs and colored while Hinnenkamp, Martin and other parent volunteers prepared a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pudding, pancakes and cookies. Not all the work was done by the adults, however, as each group of kindergarteners shook cream into butter, mimicking the methods and ingredients used by the early settlers. Without butter churns, shaking the cream in a jar was the closest they could get Hinnenkamp said. “It’s yummy,” said student Kaylee Coffer when she took her first bite of the feast. Sitting to her right, Vianne De Santiago agreed with a smile and a vigorous nod. Hinnenkamp appreciates teaching kindergarteners. “The benefits of seeing them grow are amazing,” Hinnenkamp said. “I have the opportunity to make them enjoy school.”