Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
NEW SUMMERFIELD —
For the past several years, the local school district has invited students and their families to participate in an old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner as a way of introducing many of them to this unique American tradition.
Members of the school cafeteria staff prepare a full turkey dinner with trimmings for the diners, “a lot of (whom) are Hispanic and really don't have a Thanksgiving tradition. This lets our kids and their families celebrate together,” explained Clara Flores, New Summerfield ISD elementary/middle school campus secretary.
“It's something we do every year – some of the teachers have their children dress up as pilgrims and Indians and then they do a presentation for the families,” she said.
The annual event often draws more than 300 people, with “parents usually calling a month ahead, asking when the dinner is going to be so they can get the day off work,” she said. “It's something the families enjoy, because they like being able to eat with their kids, who are in different grades.”
Notification is sent out ahead of time, listing students' lunch schedules for kids and asking how many seats a family wishes to reserve. Tickets, which are $3, are purchased in advanced.
The meal is always held the Friday before Thanksgiving, and “everybody gets excited because it close to the holidays,” she said.
This year's feast will be served from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday in the school cafeteria.