WYOMING — The smell of turkey and pie is right around the corner and school students eagerly wait for Thanksgiving to arrive.
While some may have to check their calendars to remind themselves what day Thanksgiving is celebrated, Deborah Przybyla’s fourth grade class at Tenth Street Elementary knows.
“It’s Thanksgiving!” shouted 10-year-old Roger Orlandini.
The special day will involve turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pie, but it also means no school for students.
While the students are excited for Thanksgiving and no school, they have not forgotten what the day is about and how it came to be.
“It was where the Pioneers created one day a year where Indians and Pioneers get together to have food and turkey,” said Thomas Carlin, 9.
“We celebrate it to remember what the Pilgrims and Indians did back when they had the first Thanksgiving,” said Sophia Sands, 9.
The students understand it is a day where they can enjoy food with their family and loved ones, and know it is a day about giving thanks.
There is plenty to be thankful for by the fourth grade students.
“I’m thankful for my family,” said 9-year-old Maggie Hallman.
“I’m thankful for my family and food,” said Calista Stella, 10.
Food and family was the popular choice among the group of students, although some were quick to give thanks to the people who influence them outside their own families.
Brianna Chekiewicz, 10, said she is thankful for her school and teachers, while 9-year-old Kinley Pocceschi is always thankful for her teachers as well as for her family and friends.
“I’m thankful to know how to read,” said 10-year-old Rhys Atherton.
With much to be thankful for, every student said their family likes to celebrate the holiday differently, whether it involves the foods they eat or their specific traditions.
Paul Willison, 10, and Liam Hizynski, 9, both mentioned their family members take turns saying what they’re thankful for while 9-year-old Wyatt Christian said his family watches football and eats turkey.
Lakota Caines, 10, has a tradition that shows outside-the-box thinking.
“I spend time with family and doing activities like building a turkey,” he said. “We usually build it with wood and put wings on it like feathers and then we put leaves inside. It’s a fake turkey and I build it outside with my aunt.”
Caines said his fake turkey is about the size of a real turkey and that he does it every year.
Luke Barhight, 10, talked about helping to make the food.
“Sometimes, whenever my mom buys the turkey and I put it on the stove for her and sometimes she lets me turn the stove on,” he said. “I have to be really careful and I don’t lean too far because then I’ll fall.”
Emily Shulde, 10, said she enjoys being around her family.
Students also talked about what comes to mind when they think of Thanksgiving.
“No one in the world is hungry,” said 10-year-old Caitlyn Phillips, sharing her wishes.
“Thanksgiving means to me spending time with family and friends and watching football,” said Alexis Pinar, 9.
“I always think about enjoying food with my family,” said Ashod Williamson, 9.
The students were curious about what Przybyla does to celebrate the holiday.
“I’m going to Virginia to celebrate with my son,” she said. “I do that every year and I do enjoy going to Virginia. I like the area and this is the first year ever that I don’t have to make the food, so I’m just going to go down and go, ‘OK, where’s the food?’”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher