Evangelical students help prepare the meal. Photos by Jamie Milligan and Sydney Sinks.GODFREY - Every Evangelical School student wore a smile and a turkey hat during their annual Thanksgiving feast tradition on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2023.

Parents and students came together to cook a Thanksgiving meal in celebration of the holiday. The students helped prepare the meal, and older students helped the youngest kids get ready for the feast by making hats and placemats. Principal Amanda Macias noted it’s a fun tradition for the school.

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“They get to do all this stuff together and really enjoy it. The kids have been kind of anxious for it all week long,” Macias said.

She explained that parents shop for a week before the feast and spend two days preparing the food. Each class joins the parents in the school kitchen so students can help make the meal. Kids might stir brownie batter, combine ingredients for stuffing or complete another task depending on their age.

Jamie Milligan, who co-chaired the event with Michelle Sowders, said this is an important part of the tradition because it helps the kids feel involved while learning basic cooking skills.

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“I feel it’s really important for kids to develop skills that are home-based as well as school-based,” Milligan said. “They really enjoy getting to make something and then try new foods.”

Macias added that the middle school students worked with the preschoolers to make paper turkey hats, which is a favorite tradition for the kids. They also helped the younger students draw on placemats and carry their trays. Macias said this is partly why the feast is such a hit, because it connects the school and “everybody gets to eat together.”

For parents like Milligan, it’s also a chance to stay involved with Evangelical. She enjoys being a part of the school and seeing the students’ excitement.

“I feel that we as parents should know what’s going on in our schools and should be involved and help to develop the best school environment that we can for our children,” she said. “I think all hands on deck is the best way to do that.”

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