The children in Josephine Maher's fourth-grade class, Maher's Stars, are grateful for their families, their teacher and their friends. But there are a few other things they appreciate on this Thanksgiving Day. They mentioned those at a Thanksgiving dessert gathering that Maher and her students at Pine Grove Elementary School hosted last week for the students' parents. The classroom was set up with tables for cake and juice. There were fall decorations and chairs were lined up for the parents, who had come to listen to their children's essays on those things for which they are thankful.
As parents ate cake, the children read what they had written.
Parents, friends and Mrs. Maher were tops on the lists of appreciated things, and as they read, details emerged.
Jonathan Hoelderlin, 9, besides being thankful for his dog, said, "My dad puts onion on my steak." His family, "takes viruses out of my computer." And he is glad to have friends, because, "without friends, this world would be boring."
Kaitlyn Irizarry, 9, has learned her way around the kitchen. "Thanks to her, I'm a great cook," she said about her mother. She is also happy to have Maher. Apparently, this particular teacher still loves her, even if Kaitlyn should happen to step on her toe.
Breanna McAlpine, 9, loves her mom for giving her Oreo ice cream. She likes her teacher's math tricks.
Abby Pons, 9, has noticed the practical things her mother does. She "cleans my dirty clothes and then folds them when they are clean," she said. Dad knows to cook her steak medium rare. Abby is thankful for that.
Camden Richardson, 10, highlighted his friends because one of them once got him a Band-Aid when he was bleeding.
Charity Bunton, parent of Aystin Bunton, 10, enjoyed the event. "I thought it was wonderful," she said. She particularly liked hearing Aystin say, "My mom is awesome."
Kim Davis, parent of Coral Davis, 10, said her favorite part of her daughter's essay was hearing her say "how thankful she is for her dad and he plays with her."
Victor Hampton, parent of Noah Hampton, 9, was thankful for his son. "I'm thankful that he's healthy, that he's strong, that he has a good head on his shoulders and, hopefully, if he keeps going the same way, he'll be a good man."
After it was all over, Maher had her own reasons to be grateful. "I'm thankful for my stars and my star families," she said.