It’s a typical Thanksgiving activity in elementary schools across the country –teachers have their students write essays about what they are thankful for. At Locust Valley Intermediate School, third-grade teachers decided it was time for a twist on tradition. This year, they told their students why they were thankful to have them. 

At the annual Thanksgiving feast, students wore name tags that stated what made them special in the eyes of their teachers – for example, the student is kind and caring, or a diligent worker. Some were appreciated for always cooperating, others for making their teacher laugh.

Josephine Rothstein said she and her colleagues are thankful for each and every student. “They are the reason we come to work each day,” she said. “Each child offers something unique that makes us smile.” Rothstein explained that they wanted the children to feel good about themselves, and added that Thanksgiving is an opportune time to reinforce the importance of self-esteem.

Of course, the feast was traditional in other ways, with delicious food and friends to share it with. Volunteers from the Locust Valley Parents’ Council sponsored the event and shared in the festivities.