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Annual Thanksgiving tradition continues

Seniors and kindergartners pose as a group prior to Northville Central School's annual Thanksgiving Feast Tuesday in the school gym. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

NORTHVILLE — The oldest and the youngest students at Northville Central School carried on a decades-long annual tradition Tuesday with a mouthwatering Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast served up in the gym.

Thirty-three seniors volunteered to make the meal and be paired off with 25 kindergartners, taking in holiday festivities at noontime. Families of the kindergartners also joined in to enjoy turkey, potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie and all the fixings.

“Warm greetings to all the families,” Northville Central School District Superintendent Leslie Ford told the gathering. “We’re very happy for the support and the help of the seniors.”

Normally, seniors and kindergartners at Northville would not have an occasion to talk, but this was a social event to cherish, the superintendent said.

“Thanksgiving means this,” Ford said.

Families are served during Northville Central School's annual Thanksgiving Feast Tuesday in the school gym. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Kindergartners filed into the gym at lunchtime and were immediately fitted with traditional paper headgear for the holiday occasion. A group photo was taken and seniors were matched up with their smiling, older senior partners to enjoy the meal. Adult volunteers also helped serve the meal, including Board of Education member Arlene Rambush.

Shannon Fitzgerald, district communications and data coordinator, said the seniors prepared the Thanksgiving Feast earlier in the week in the home economics room. She called it a “nice” activity for the senior students to be involved in during their last year of their public school education.

“We like this tradition of the serving of the kindergartners,” said Kim Kemper, the parent of a kindergarten student.

Ford also mentioned the Thanksgiving Feast has so many positives, such as the kids helping kids aspect. She said it is also “unique” for the seniors to work together in such a worthwhile effort.

Senior Lilly Purtell recounted how she remembered being served many years ago by a senior for the Thanksgiving Feast. She said this activity is perfect for a place like Northville.

Northville Central School senior Katrina Reilly has lunch with kindergartner Elaina LaPort during the school's annual Thanksgiving Feast for kindergartners Tuesday in the school gym. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

“Normally, in a small town, we all know each other,” she said. “I remember when I was a kindergartner. I like to keep the tradition going.”

Senior advisors for the event were Sara Straub and Jamie Dickinson.

Five turkeys were cooked for the feast.

“It’s a tradition,” Straub said. “I think it’s really great for the students to work as a team. It’s a bonding opportunity.”

Northville Central School District Superintendent Leslie Ford carves a turkey with kindergartners Kaelyn Klingbeil, Elaina LaPort and Olivia Philo at the school's annual Thanksgiving Feast Tuesday in the school gym. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Northville Central School kindergartner Cooper Gander samples some of the goodies during the school's annual Thanksgiving Feast Tuesday in the school gym. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Northville Central School kindergartners find their tables prior to the school's annual Thanksgiving Feast Tuesday in the school gym. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Volunteers serve up a Thanksgiving Feast for kindergartners during the annual holiday event Tuesday at Northville Central School. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

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