Jenna Pierson of Sherman Elementary School holds a photo of her grandmother. Jenna is thankful for firefighters who came to the rescue a few years ago when her grandmother had trouble bleeding.
In observance of Thanksgiving, The Blade asked children in four area elementary schools to tell us what they're grateful for. Most mentioned their families and good homes, but each with a little variation.
For our part, we're thankful for all who shared their thoughts, and for the teachers who helped us with the project: Deb Essing, fifth grade at Sherman School in Toledo; Jennifer Ferguson, fourth grade at Washington Local's Meadowvale School; Bethany Merz and Sheree Shafer, third grade at Toth Elementary in Perrysburg, and Sister Mary Paulena, second grade at St. Anthony Catholic School in Temperance. Luke Hickey, Meadowvale, wrote that he's thankful for his "cool parents." Jenna Pierson, Sherman, appreciates that Toledo firefighters came to the rescue of her grandmother a few years ago when she had trouble breathing. "Keep doing a good job saving lives," she writes. What would the world be like without best buddies? Nathan Patterson, Toth, doesn't want to find out. "I am thankful for Adam B. because we like to jump off of stuff," he wrote beneath a drawing of him and his friend. "In this picture I am free falling stomach-first at the park." Adrienne Gotha, of St. Anthony, is thankful for his teachers: "I'm thankful for the teachers because they are nice . . . my teacher is Sister Mary Paulena. I like her, she is fun! And she does fun games. She is so cool!" Michael Lambrecht, Meadowvale, knows he's a lucky guy: "My family is a great family that some people wish for."
Not only is Salah Ramadan grateful for his religion (Islam), he gives thanks that his friends and teachers at Sherman respect what his religion requires of him, such as fasting during the school day. Austin Sabatino, Toth, gets along great with his brothers. "They let me go everywhere with them," he wrote. Haley Schultz, Meadowvale, pointed out that "without my family I wouldn't have food, water, or anything important like LOVE." Parents can do a lot for a young man, as Tim Lake, Toth, acknowledged: "They care for me and, without them I would be trapped in our old van." A drawing shows him inside a van while his mother stands outside the doctor's office saying, "Here's the keys!" Kylie Kretz, Meadowvale, is thankful for her parents "because they give me all my needs and some wants too!"
Salah Ramadan of Sherman Elementary is thankful for his religion, Islam.
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Emma Essen, of St. Anthony, is thankful for her family and friends: "I'm thankful that my mom loves me and that my dad helps me with my homework. Thank you for my friends. I'm thankful for my sister who plays with me." As they rode bikes, Jeovana Ibarra's best friend screamed that a car was behind her and she needed to move quickly. "She saved my life," says Jeovana, of Sherman.
Everyone can improve, even pets, and that's something Kayla Fox, Toth, appreciates: "I am thankful for my hamster because he is nice and friendly and he does not bite anymore." Allie Cousino, of St. Anthony, is thankful for her dog: "Sweetheart. She is hyper because she is my dog and I love her." Love may be slow-moving for Zachary Schroering, Toth, but that's OK with him. "I am thankful for my tortoise because when I look at him he puts a smile on my face," he wrote. Emily Olson, Toth, is thankful for her playmates, two cats: "My cats' names are Tiger and Oreo," she wrote. "Tiger is a wild man. He has to lay down to eat. Oreo is a very lazy cat. She also has to lay down to eat. I love my cats a lot." Summer Varga, of St. Anthony, "I'm thankful for many animals because they protect their babies. I have a dog, its name is Zeus." She adds that she is thankful for her family and sisters: "they are nice to me and make me happy."
Meghan Cutcher, Meadowvale, is thankful for her bike, among other things.
Aniqua Winters of Sherman Elementary School is thankful for family and friends in time of war.
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Luke Mallin, St. Anthony, is thankful for martial arts: "I am thankful for being able to do Tae Kwon Do." He adds he's also thankful for his mom, dad, sisters, his house, and "good food."
Ashley Lynn Martin, St. Anthony, is thankful for many things, including "lots of trees," but adds, "I am thankful for all of the things that God and Jesus brings us like cars and food."
Mark Monarch, St. Anthony, says "Thank you God for nature. I am thankful for my pets and family and my classroom where I can learn."
For having a family during a time of war, Aniqua Winters, of Sherman, is thankful.
Evan Dotson, Meadowvale, appreciates "having a chance to go to school to learn."
Michael Moeltner, of St. Anthony, sums up his thanks best: "I'm thankful for the world because it is beautiful. I'm thankful for people because they are nice."
In the spirit of Thursday's holiday, Elaina Marie Britton observes that the Indians and first pioneers lived in harmony, and from their efforts, the United States evolved.
And finally, Halle Newson, Meadowvale, pays tribute to the unending moment: "I am thankful for being here today."
Luke Mullin of St. Anthony School is thankful for being able to do Tae Kwon Do.
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Blade staff writers Tahree Lane, Rhonda B. Sewell, Ryan E. Smith, and Ann Weber contributed to this report.