Students Throughout DMPS Celebrate and Give Thanks

Girls holding sign reading Happy Thanksgiving

Students at Oak Park Elementary School made placements for the free community Thanksgiving dinner at Chuck’s Italian Restaurant.

It’s a short week at Des Moines Public Schools, but plenty long enough for a variety of traditional holiday mood-setting activities around the district.

Smouse Opportunity School served up its 36th annual Thanksgiving feast for students, their families and community guests.

Over at Lincoln High School, Victor Wickert’s Adult Living class again planned, shopped for, prepared and enjoyed a traditional holiday menu, with everything from green bean casserole to pumpkin pie.

On the other side of town, students at Oak Park Elementary risked hand cramps by furiously coloring placemats as a contribution to a longstanding event in their Highland Park community. Chuck’s Restaurant is an Oak Park neighbor and since 1992 has been providing thousands of free Thanksgiving meals for folks who wouldn’t otherwise have one, let alone one with a finishing touch like the students provide.

And at the Downtown School, five and six year olds talked about what they were thankful from, from family and teachers to bicycles and chickens!

Students and teacher preparing a meal

The Adult Living class at Lincoln High prepared and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal.

These are just a few of the highlights that our communications staff stopped by to photograph or videotape.

In addition to them, dozens of schools and classrooms throughout the district found their own ways to channel the spirit of Thanksgiving, from reenactment of the original event in 1621 to study of President Lincoln’s proclamation of the occasion as a national holiday in 1863 to sharing in their own informal parties with classmates before school let out Tuesday afternoon for the rest of the week.

Best wishes to everyone here and across our nation for an enjoyable and bountiful holiday!

“Yet, as our power has grown, so has our peril. Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers–for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

Excerpt from President John F. Kennedy’s official proclamation on November 4, 1963 which designated November 28 of that year as Thanksgiving Day. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

Photos of Thanksgiving Events at DMPS

Downtown School 5/6 Year Olds Give Thanks

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