A Thanksgiving tradition continues at Mifflin Elementary

Students at Thomas Mifflin Elementary School in East Falls had a feast to rival the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock on Tuesday afternoon. 

Sitting at long tables in the hallway outside of their classrooms, students in kindergarten through fourth grade ate turkey with all the trimmings for the school’s annual Thanksgiving feast. 

A special group of 7th and 8th graders helped serve the lower grades. Volunteers from ExperienceCorps were also on hand to help students, who were dressed as Native Americans. Gym teacher Gina Spinelli entertained students with her pilgrim hat, complete with a dancing turkey.

The Thanksgiving feast is the brainchild of Mifflin School’s learning support teacher Colleen Yarnall. Yarnall’s program has been going on for more than a decade. Yarnall, who organizes the feast every year, started with her special education class and had students make the side dishes in class.

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“This started my first year here with a couple of classes and developed into the whole school,” said Yarnall.

“She’s amazing,” said Mason, about Yarnall’s efforts.

According to Mason, Yarnall was in the building last night arranging 17 tables in preparation for the meal. The whole week leading up to the feast, students and teachers discussed what they were grateful and thankful for in honor of the upcoming holiday.

After the students were finished, it was time for dessert. Students had their pick of cupcakes, cookies and pie.

“It’s good that they eat together,” said Mason. “It shows that we are a family here. A family that sits and eats together,” Yarnall agreed. 

Mason said the upper grades of 5th through 8th will celebrate the holidays together at a dance scheduled for January. Two students from each grade will be a part of the dance committee that decides the theme and the music set for the occasion.

“The older kids are more social,” said Mason. “A dance is a better fit for them than sitting at a meal like this. They sign up quickly to the committee when I tell them that I’ll pick the music list.”

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