This year has been inarguably challenging and disruptive but current circumstances have not altered the fact that we all may still find things for which we are thankful. In preparation for gathering around our Thanksgiving tables—albeit in smaller-than-normal groups—the Kenosha News asked some of the students and teachers in our community to prepare a dish of thanks to share with readers.
Students of all ages expressed gratitude for the expected and the somewhat unexpected—people and things that have helped them during these times of pandemic, uncertainty and virtual learning.
An extra portion of gratitude to the teachers who asked their classes to participate: Kathie Klein, first grade, Southport Elementary School; Deanna Jansen, third grade, Bose Elementary School; Madison Engen, fifth grade, Nash Elementary School; as well as Kenosha Unified School District administrative staff who relayed their responses and artwork to the News for inclusion in our print and online formats.
The following are some of the responses from each class. More student answers, along with much of their art, can be seen by in our online photo galleries. Happy Thanksgiving from the Kenosha News!
Southport Elementary School
Kathie Klein, first-grade teacher, went deep with her own reflections for Thanksgiving during these unique times.
“I am sure like everyone it may be hard during a time such as now to think of things that we are thankful for. I, of course, am thankful for my family, health, and friends, but I also need to remind myself that I should take a step back and be grateful for the small things in life too, such as a beautiful sunrise, a peaceful walk by the lake, or kind words spoken. When thinking about gratitude I am reminded of the quote from Henry David Thoreau, “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual”.
Here are some of the other responses from Klein’s class:
“I am thankful for my family because they are nice to me and they love me.” —Kennedy
“I am thankful for America and the branches of (military) service.” —Tom
“I am thankful for my friends and my teachers.” —Lilyana
Bose Elementary School
Deanna Jansen, a third-grade teacher, had this to say:
“This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my students and the technology that brings us together every day!”
The following are responses from some of her students:
“This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my friends, family and my life.” —Casimir
“This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my mom and my dad and my brother and my sister and all the time that we had fun and I am thank full for my aunty and my bookbag and my grandma for the stuff that she gives me. I am thankful for the world being there for us. And thankful for my stuff animal unicorn and I love my family.” —Marilyn
“This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my shoes and my family and classmates people.” —Parish
“I am thankful for my baby brother Niko and he is so funny and cute and he can say hi very cutely.” —Julian
Nash Elementary School
Madison Engen, a fifth-grade teacher said she has much to be thankful for:
“This year, I am the most thankful for the health of my friends and family. Living during a pandemic hasn’t been easy, so I am so thankful that I have wonderful people around me to raise my spirits and to spend quality time with. I am also so thankful that I get to teach at an amazing school like Nash Elementary School, and that I get to spend my days with my funny and kind students. They sure do make my days bright!”
Twenty students in Engen’s class answered “What are you thankful for?” in ways that were thoughtful and often thought-provoking. Here are a few of their responses:
“I’m so thankful for having a nice teacher and having nice people and nice friends that help me out when I need it. And I’m thankful for having food to eat in the morning and at lunch. I’m thankful for having an education and learning things that I did not know before. And this year I’m grateful for having a family and have a mom because a lot of kids don’t have a mom so I just want to say thank you.” —Sumar
“This year I am thankful for video games. I am thankful for video games because I enjoy them and they help me stay connected with friends on the weekends during the pandemic. Also it entertains me when I have nothing to do and nobody wants to play football or just tackle each other.” —Alex
“This year I am thankful for my family and friends. I’m thankful for them because ever since COVID happened there has been a lot going on, but my friends and family are COVID-free and I’m thankful they’re safe and healthy. But I’m also thankful for my family all the time because they take care of me and get me food and shelter.” —Kendall
“I’m thankful for my family, friends, and pets and also I’m thankful for living even though it’s been a rough year. Also, I’m thankful for having a home to live in. I’m also thankful for food, water, pets, having education and school. I love it when my dog snuggles with me and I love how every time I pick up my frog she sleeps on me.” —Aviana
“I am thankful for my mom because she buys me stuff and feed me and does my hair. I still love her even if she makes me do the dishes and I will take care of her when she is old. I make her smile and she makes me smile I love my mom soooo much and that is why I am thankful for my mom.” —Marshae
“I am thankful for being here, I am thankful we have a mask to wear during this pandemic. I’m thankful for shelter, and a school to get educated and learn. I’m thankful for being alive. I am happy we have technology because without it we basically couldn’t do anything with this pandemic. I’m thankful for family and friends, because during quarantine I would’ve been bored and extra bored.” —Giavana