Temple Elementary School students serve seniors for Thanksgiving

  • Administrative assistant and meal organizer Kimberly Sell bows after receiving kudos from Teaching Principal Tim Iwanowicz. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

  • Seniors gather for the Thanksgiving meal at Temple Elementary School Thursday. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

  • Fourth-grader Camdyn Livingston serves food. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

  • Brothers Colton (left) and Wyatt Cullinan serve food. Colton is in fourth grade, while Wyatt is in sixth grade. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

  • Parent Erin Blais hands out food to serve. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/18/2022 11:40:29 AM

Evelyn Pearson said her husband Jerry’s parents used to come to the annual Thanksgiving meal that Temple Elementary School students serve to local seniors, but Thursday’s was the first time they had come.

“It has taken us this long to embrace our geezerhood,” said Evelyn, 70, sitting next to her 74-year-old husband.

Fourth-graders serving a Thanksgiving feast to seniors is a tradition going back decades – starting in the old school and continuing at Town Hall before the school moved to its current location – but this year’s was the first in three years due to COVID. Because this year’s fifth- and sixth-graders missed the event that past two years, they were invited to take part along with the fourth-graders.

“I don’t think I’ve been this excited for the feast, ever,” said administrative assistant Kimberly Sell, who organized the event. “This is the best thing we do. This is my favorite event of the whole school year.”

This year was Sell’s 15th, and if Teaching Principal Tim Iwanowicz has his way, she’ll be involved for many years to come.

”She said she signed up for the next 50 years,” he joked as he introduced Sell to the crowd, which she anticipated would be about 75 of the approximately 150 invited.

Students served up turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie paid for by the Recreation Department and cooked by parents. Students also made the centerpieces.

Fourth-grader Camdyn Livingston served the table where his grandparents MaryEllen and Dennis LaPlante were sitting.

“This is a wonderful tradition,” MaryEllen said. “I didn’t realize it was a tradition.”

Fourth-grader Koryn Blais said she was excited to learn about the event and was excited to meet everybody, especially since last year was her first at the school.

“It’s pretty good. It’s fun, very entertaining,” she said. “I feel like I get to know more people doing this.”

Principal aide Tamora McElreavy has been attending for 25 years, and said having students serve the adults is a great learning experience. Every year, she said the students are nervous beforehand, but do a great job once the event starts.

“They’re owning it, which is just so great,” she said. “The shyest of kids are talking to adults of their town. It’s lovely.”


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