Indianapolis Public Schools is getting an early start on Thanksgiving with celebrations thanking families, students and staff!

George Washington Community High School is using their 6th annual Thanksgiving Family Night on November 20 as a chance for both fellowship and outreach. George Washington families will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and can take advantage of a resource fair with representatives from area community centers providing information on assistance for utilities, English Language Learning and employment.

The staff of George Washington (with some partner support) donates the meal. And at the end of the evening, laptops donated by school partner the NCAA will be raffled off.

“It’s a great event because it is a chance for our community members, our families and our faculty and staff to all come together, share a meal and celebrate what George Washington is,” said Ann Kreicker, Community School Coordinator through the school’s Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center partnership. “It’s a chance for us to have a very positive evening and to encourage our parents to become volunteers.”

Wendell Phillips School 63 is also reaching out to parents. The evening of November 20 is the school’s first-ever Thanksgiving meal for their families, and it is done with community partner New Light Baptist Church.

Elda Pena, the school’s Parent Involvement Educator, said “for this meal, the principal and I wanted to have the families just enjoy a meal with the staff and our community partner and have that chance to speak with staff members and know more about our principal who is new.”

The Thanksgiving meal at Daniel Webster School 46 is a classroom affair this year. “Each of our classrooms has its own Kroger store, and the stores are providing a meal for the children in the classes they are paired with,” Principal Karen Linn said. That way students get to enjoy the meal directly with their classmates.

Cold Spring School K through 2nd grade classes “have been learning about the first Thanksgiving and talking about students’ traditions,” Principal Carrie Scott said. And thanks to volunteers from Speedway General Baptist Church, those classes recently enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast.

And at Jonathan Jennings School 109, it’s the staff who are on the receiving end of the Thanksgiving meal. Parents are pitching in to give the staff a thank you meal on November 20 after school. They have done in this in the past, and the meal often has an international flair. Principal Kevin McMahan said, “With our high Latino numbers, they normally bring in a lot of authentic dishes. It’s delicious.”

IPS is thankful to have great parents, partners and staff who donate their time, supplies and effort to make these Thanksgiving celebrations a reality for so many in the district. Their examples remind us what the holiday is all about!