Montessori Thanksgiving Program

Teagan Kelly sings during the "Thanksgiving Program" at Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

For its 17th year in a row, the kindergarten and preschool classes at Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori have performed a Thanksgiving sing-a-long and skit for proud parents.

This year was no different, set up in the school’s parking lot near 32nd Street and Chandler Boulevard, the kids ages 2 through 5 dressed up as pilgrims and Native Americans on Wednesday.

A crowd of about 100 parents gathered around a small “stage” where each of the 27 kindergartners recited parts of the New Colossus sonnet, written in 1903, one student dressed as the Statue of Liberty, and a festive spread of pumpkins.

Meaghan McClung, owner and administrator, said the students have been rehearsing and memorizing lines since Halloween.

“It’s been a lot of fun for them, and they look forward to it,” McClung said.

Each kindergartner took turns standing on a small podium where they recited their line of the poem, and also a story about the original Thanksgiving.

Despite their age, each student memorized their lines without a blip and conveyed emotion about the pilgrims trying to get overseas to the states.

“They work really hard, and it’s great that so many parents come out to see them.” McClung added.

The rest of the school’s students, mostly in preschool, helped with the sing-a-longs of classic songs like “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and a more modern tune where the kids did a “turkey twist” dance move.

One of the Montessori parents, John Young, watched his 2-year-old daughter, Della, sing and dance with a smile. But more than just being a cute presentation, learning the story of Thanksgiving Day has a real benefit, according to Young.

“(These skits) are a way of teaching the kids about the history of America,” he said.

Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori is located at 3221 E. Chandler Blvd.

For more information, call (480) 759-3810 or email


• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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