Local students share what they are most thankful for

From their family and extra buttery popcorn to Wii games, a group of elementary students shared what they are most thankful for this holiday season.
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, students at Wapakoneta Elementary School shared their Thanksgiving plans and for what they are most thankful.
Ten-year-old David Sharp recounted that during his music class, all of the classmates went around the room and shared what they were thankful for this year.
“I said I was thankful for
extra buttery popcorn,” Sharp said.
In addition, the fourth-grader said he enjoys spending time with his family and feasting on food — including, his favorite Thanksgiving tradition, pumpkin pie.
Kindergartner Riley Szelagowski shared with the Wapakoneta Daily News her plans for Thursday.
“We are going to eat,” the five-year-old Wapakoneta Elementary School student said, “and my grandparents come to my house. My favorite thing to eat is turkey because it’s good.”
As the daughter of Jamie and Jerry Szelagowski was preparing for the holiday in her classroom, she made a homemade hat, which was made out of construction paper, with her Indian name — Loud Thunder — spelled across the band of the hat.
“I picked out the different colors to make my hat,” Riley said.
When asked what she was thankful for, Riley said the pilgrims.
“I am thankful for the pilgrims because we are learning about them,” Riley said. “I learned that they came in on the Mayflower and there were Indians.”
Riley said her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
Third-grader Ryan Schultz said that he is most thankful for his family.
The son of Shelly and Terry Schultz will celebrate a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday at his home with his grandparents, aunts and uncles and two brothers and six sisters.
The 8-year-old boy said that his favorite dish is the staple of the holiday.
“My favorite is turkey because it is big and has a lot of meat,” Ryan said.
As for the dessert, Riley said his all-time favorite is pudding, but he is not sure if they are having it this year.
Nine-year-old Claire Kohler said her favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.
“My favorite part is when the people sing,” Kohler said, referring to the famous artists who perform during the parade.
After the parade, her family typically goes to her aunt’s house to have turkey.
“The dessert is my favorite,” the daughter of Carla and Tom Kohler said. “They have pies and ice cream and stuff like that.”
Also on Thursday, she said all the kids will go outside and play.
Seven-year-old Mara Stiles will be going to her grandmother’s house for the holiday feast, to eat turkey, potatoes and her favorites — apple and cherry pie.
When asked what Thanksgiving means to her, the daughter of Ann and Daren Stiles said to be “thankful.”
“I am thankful for my Wii games,” Stiles said. “My favorite is the volleyball one.”
Currently in class, she is learning about the Mayflower and how the pilgrims took it across the ocean.
Fourth-grader Brendan Coburn said that each year, he and his family go to the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
“We go with about every single one of my family members and eat dinner,” Brendan said.
On the menu this year will be turkey and mashed potatoes — in which mashed potatoes are his favorite.
When asked what he was thankful for, the son of Tracy Runninghawk and Joe Coburn knew right away what his answer was.
“I am thankful for my family, my house, my school and my friends,” Brendan said.
Brendan said he is learning about American Indians in one of his classes, and is currently working on building log houses with sticks.
“It’s pretty fun,” Brendan said.
Seven-year-old Ethan Jackson said his favorite part of Thanksgiving is eating the turkey.
“My favorite is when we get to eat turkey,” Ethan said, “because it’s good.”
The son of Tiffany and Michael Jackson said that he thinks his mother is ordering a turkey this year for dinner.
When asked what Thanksgiving means to him, Ethan said it is all about “thanking people.”
“I am thankful for everyone.”