Youngsters enjoy getting together with family

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- For many people, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the many positives in our lives.
That seems the case for fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Brandywine Elementary School.
Several of the school's students were gathered in the school's cafeteria for lunch on Tuesday. Others wandered the hallways from classroom to classroom, while some were out playing in the schoolyard in windy and cold conditions.
Almost a dozen students were asked what they are most thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.
Junie Modlin, a fourth grader at Brandywine Elementary, sat at a table and enjoyed lunch with her friends in the warm cafeteria.
Right next to her, sat Jacob Fiero, also a fourth grader. In his spare time, Fiero said he plays ice hockey at the Ice Box in South Bend, Ind.
Fiero said he always looks forward to Thanksgiving because his family has a big get-together.
As the lunch period came to an end for the fourth graders, Megan Coleman was on the way back to her classroom.
Coleman said she is thankful to everyone who help make the family holiday a special time.
Most of her Thanksgiving Day this year, she said, will be spent with family, but she also spends some time with her friends
Deondre Croom, another fourth grader, was already in the hallway and on his way back to his classroom after lunch.
Outside in the school yard, several of the students were playing, either jumping rope or playing soccer.
Conrad Smallmon was well dressed in a blue hooded jacket to keep the cold out.
Like many of the other students, Smallmon said he is also thankful for family this Thanksgiving.
But what makes the family holiday special this year, Smallmon said, is that his extended family will be spending Thanksgiving at his family's home.
Madison Pellow was also outside in the schoolyard during recess.
Pellow, surrounded by her friends, said she too, is thankful for her parents this Thanksgiving.
While the lunch was over for some, and the cafeteria was empty for a little while, it was soon again filled up by fifth graders.
Matthew Dodge was one of them.
Dodge said his family is important to him this Thanksgiving, as is family each Thanksgiving.
But Dodge misses someone who used to make Thanksgiving extra special.
Adam Earles sat at a different table than Dodge.
Earles said he, too, is thankful for his family this Thanksgiving.
And for Earles, Thanksgiving will be extra special this year because his family from another part of Michigan is coming to visit.
Chad Holden was also in the cafeteria.
Holden said he is thankful for all the food he gets on Thanksgiving.
Holden, however, said he is also thankful for other people that will have the presence of family and food this Thanksgiving holiday.

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