Creating special memories at the heart of Thanksgiving dinner at Milllersburg Elementary

Creating special memories at the heart of Thanksgiving dinner at Milllersburg Elementary

Image Credit: Submitted

The lunchroom tables at Millersburg Elementary were decorated for a Thanksgiving feast, the aroma of a special meal wafted across the entire room and the celebration was set for a grand Thanksgiving dinner.

All that was missing was the eager second-graders who were blessed to partake in something that looks like it could become a tradition throughout the West Holmes School District.

When the second-graders arrived at the Thanksgiving feast, the shouts of glee were more than enough to tell how excited they were to partake in the meal.

The Thanksgiving meal tradition actually began two years ago, and while COVID-19 wiped away the event last year, it returned this year, much to the joy of the students.

Under the guidance of Dawn Martin, district director of food services, and the Millersburg Elementary kitchen staff, the meal was prepared to perfection. Meanwhile, the second-grade teachers made the lunchroom look like a five-star dining hall, and the kids enjoyed a family-style meal that made for one special celebration.

In addition, West Holmes superintendent Eric Jurkovic and several of the central office staff members were on hand to help serve and observe the new tradition. Jurkovic said it was a joy to see all of the smiling faces and gratitude of the day.

“That’s something special,” Jurkovic said. “This was my first opportunity to see something like this Thanksgiving dinner, and it was awesome. The tables were decorated, they had electric candles, the kids were served a fantastic dinner and the staff embraced it. It was a great experience for everyone.”

While the tradition began at Millersburg, Jurkovic said other schools have taken note, and the plan is to make a dinner like this happen at schools around the district. He said at the most recent staff administration meeting, they talked about doing a Christmas dinner at Killbuck Elementary and creating another celebration at one of the other district elementary schools for Easter.

“We as a district are pretty excited about starting this tradition at every school throughout the district, whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter,” Jurkovic said. “It puts a nice emphasis on the holiday and especially promotes the idea of family and being together.”

He said part of any holiday celebration is being able to sit around the table and enjoy family and friends, and that is exactly what this type of event does for the students.

It also shows how far the teachers, staff and district are willing to go to create special memories for the students.

As for seeing teachers and staff take the initiative to create a special day for the kids, Jurkovic said it is exciting for him as a superintendent to see staff taking charge and promoting ideas that encourage unity in schools and create special memories for the children.

“It’s tremendous initiative, and it takes such a great group effort to work together to make it happen,” Jurkovic said. “It’s great to see the administration and staff in the buildings take the bull by the horns and make these types of events possible. It’s a joyful experience that is great for everyone.”