By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON — Students in both the morning and afternoon classes at Enon United Methodist Preschool celebrated Thanksgiving a bit early this year as they hosted two separate Thanksgiving luncheons for their grandparents on Tuesday.
The grandparents first assembled in the preschoolers’ classroom where they were greeted by Preschool Director Allison Wade and teachers Alicia Wills, Karlee Jeffers and Mackenzie Cooper. The classroom quickly hummed with activity as the lively students gave a quick tour of the brightly decorated room, and grandparents got a glimpse of the preschoolers’ artwork and personal creations.
Four-and-a-half-year-old Sofia Kitchen grabbed a book from one of the shelves to read to her grandparents, John and JoAnn Kitchen and Don and Jane Leonard.
Following the classroom visit, the grandparents moved to the banquet room where they were served a buffet of tasty delicacies including an assortment of vegetables and decorated cupcakes that the preschool students especially prepared for the occasion. Each student guided his or her grandparents to a designated place at the banquet table that was adorned with paper autumn leaves and the preschooler’s handcrafted nature boxes that served as Thanksgiving centerpieces and special gifts for grandparents.
Wills explained that the preschool students went outside and gathered up their own personal collection of nature for their boxes, including twigs, tree bark, leaves, pine needles, and pinecones. Each student had his or her picture taken in a pile of multi-colored leaves which was also displayed in the nature box.
The preschoolers sat for a while with their grandparents and shared a little of what they were thankful for. In honor of Thanksgiving, Wade reminded the students and their guests that they had a lot to be thankful for this year. She also noted that the invitation to the Thanksgiving luncheon was just one way for the preschool to say thank you to the grandparents who play such an important role in the young students’ lives.
“The students have been very excited about their Thanksgiving luncheon with their grandparents and have spent a lot of time preparing for today,” Wade added.
Wanda Whitacre, who had lunch with granddaughter Emma Whitacre and grandsons Cooper Whitacre and Jett Beverly, said she and her husband, Steve, enjoy every moment they spend with their grandchildren. In between bites, Emma confirmed that her grandparents were fun and nice.
“It’s nice that we can come and share a special Thanksgiving lunch and spend some quality time with our grandchildren,” said Whitacre. “We are also thankful for the teachers who keep the students engaged.”
Following lunch, each student had a photo taken with his or her grandparents in front of a colorful backdrop the preschoolers designed with construction paper.
“This is such an awesome idea,” Deb Evans said as she sat for a photo with her grandson Ian Evans and granddaughter Alaina Demers and Alaina’s other grandmother Jenna Kilgore.
Linda Colins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.