Thanksgiving Happening – Student Reflections

Jackson Fox ’20

Reflecting on my experience as an MFS student over the years, I can recall almost every room I have been in for Thanksgiving Happening since kindergarten. Now, writing as a junior, my perspective has gradually shifted over time, putting me in a place to really respect and appreciate the event. What used to seem like half a day has turned into a brief 55 minutes.

The event was incredibly fun as a little kid. Going to a new classroom with a few friends, meeting the big kids and seeing their complicated drawings come to life, walking to the unexplored turf of the Upper School gym and laying down the flowers in the center — all of these helped me realize the size of the MFS community.

Thanksgiving Happening feels like growing up. The things that used to seem so large and monumental suddenly become a part of yourself, a part of the everyday. Since such a large portion of my experience was shaped by the older students as a little kid, I try to make it as fun for them as I can because I know how much of a yearlong highlight it is for them. This appreciation for the experience of the younger students, is, in my opinion, the embodiment of our community here at Moorestown Friends School.

I don’t think the realization of how far I have come really hit me until this year, as an upperclassman and a leader of the school. Yes, I really was that small once. For that reason, I cherish the gathering, the activities, the Stone Soup story—well, everything. Thanksgiving Happening is a joyous opportunity for the whole school community to gather, and seeing the excitement of the younger students’ faces is what makes it so fun.

The MFS community, my home for the past 12 or so years, contributed to me significantly as I grew up. So the best I can do to honor the experience is to write about it. Thanksgiving Happening’s impact on myself and my education at MFS have shaped me as a person and it’s a tradition that should continue in the school for as long as possible.

Sujin Kim ’18

Thanksgiving Happening is an iconic event at Moorestown Friends School. Each year, on the day before Thanksgiving break, all students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and faculty and staff come together to make paper flowers, paper bag turkeys, colorful paper wreaths, and festive Thanksgiving banners to decorate the Lutheran Home on Main Street and other local nursing homes and continuing care facilities.

The day begins with the entire faculty, staff, and student body splitting up into small groups. The groups separate into classrooms and spend about 90 minutes making crafts. Then, once that time is up, the hallways transform into rivers of bright color as each group walks through the halls carrying their flowers and other crafts into the gyms to display during assembly. The groups split into the Field House, Practice, or Red Gym, and settle in on the floor for the equally iconic Thanksgiving Happening assembly.

In all three gyms, the amount of food collected (and dinners assembled) in the annual food drive is announced, along with the amount of money donated. All food and money is donated to New Visions Center in Camden. After announcements, stories about kindness and generosity (the values surrounding Thanksgiving) are told by teachers, and music teachers lead songs about the same themes. Last year, the school learned a song called “Siyahamba,” a traditional African medley featuring the merits of peace and equality. Students look forward to Thanksgiving Happening as a time to give back to the community, and make a difference in the world around them. After the Happening, everyone leaves school for break feeling a sense of empowerment, knowing that they can make a difference in the world around them.