Westfield first-graders get into First Thanksgiving

awoolen@macon.comNovember 27, 2013 

PERRY -- For more than 25 years, first-graders at The Westfield School have been performing in a First Thanksgiving program.

This year, two dozen students dressed as pilgrims and Indians during the one-hour performance Friday.

Each child walked into the auditorium to the front of the stage and either bowed, curtsied or held a hand up.

“It’s turkey time,” said Reid Black with his arms held high.

Parents and grandparents held up phones to take videos and pictures, and afterward families had a mini-Thanksgiving feast.

Each student had a speaking role and several songs, including “God Bless the USA” and “Amazing Grace” were sung. Baylee Culverhouse, a senior, played the violin.

The classes have been practicing for three weeks leading up to the event.

“It takes a lot of encouragement,” first-grade teacher Rita Parks said.

Janna Gray is the other first-grade teacher.

Most of the students want to be Indians, so the teachers have to choose carefully who they want to play each part.

The costumes were provided by the school for the most part. The pilgrim hats and bibs were made from white felt.

Some students looked as if they were born to be on stage. The two teachers sat near the stage to help with lines in case a student forgot.

Because the performance happens every year, Parks said usually one of the speeches at graduation includes a mention of the First Thanksgiving.

“It’s just a tradition here at Westfield,” she said.

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