As Thanksgiving approaches, the Phoenix School comes alive with the delicious aroma of collaboration and the spirit of gratitude. At Phoenix, the week leading up to Thanksgiving is marked by a unique tradition that involves students from kindergarten to eighth grade coming together in multi-age teams to prepare a Thanksgiving Feast. This culinary adventure not only teaches valuable life skills but also strengthens the sense of connection within the school community. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Phoenix School transforms cooking into a meaningful learning experience that goes beyond the kitchen.

Cooking Across Generations: The Thanksgiving week at Phoenix is a celebration of connections—connections between students, alumni, teachers, and friends. The collaborative cooking experience fosters a sense of family within the school, bridging the gap between current students and those who came before them. The annual Thanksgiving Feast becomes a shared experience that unites different generations, creating lasting memories and traditions.

Learning Beyond the Recipe: Cooking, as it turns out, is more than just a culinary skill. Phoenix students delve into the sciences, mathematics, discovery, taste, and textures while preparing the Thanksgiving Feast. From mastering fractions in action to observing the physical changes of cranberries during sauce-making, students engage in a hands-on exploration of various subjects. The kitchen becomes a classroom where real-life learning happens, instilling practical skills that extend far beyond the school years.

Team Building and Leadership: The multi-age teams in the classroom kitchen are a microcosm of the collaborative nature of the Phoenix community. Older students take on leadership roles, guiding and sharing their knowledge with their younger peers. This dynamic not only teaches valuable team-building skills but also instills a sense of responsibility and mentorship among the students. Younger participants actively contribute to the cooking process, learning how to measure, cut, and cook under the guidance of their older counterparts.

Dining Etiquette and Gratitude: The culmination of the cooking extravaganza is the Thanksgiving Feast, where students gather around one long table to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Beyond the delicious food, this event provides an opportunity for students to learn dining etiquette in a kid-friendly setting. The feast becomes a moment for reflection, gratitude, and sharing of family traditions. Students express thanks for everything from family support to global events, fostering a sense of mindfulness and awareness.

Giving Back to the Community: Phoenix School’s commitment to community extends beyond its walls. In the spirit of giving, students donate extra food to Lifebridge, a local shelter. This act of kindness is a testament to the school’s ethos of instilling values of compassion, empathy, and community service from a young age. As active members of the EarlyAct Club of the Salem Rotary Club, Phoenix students understand that giving takes various forms, all aimed at creating a better future.

At Phoenix School, Thanksgiving is more than just a holiday; it’s a week-long celebration of learning, connection, and gratitude. The Thanksgiving Feast brings together students of all ages, creating a tapestry of shared experiences and skills that will last a lifetime. As the Phoenix School community gathers around the table, they not only savor the flavors of a delicious meal but also the richness of a collaborative, caring, and giving community. Wishing everyone a safe and grateful long weekend from the Phoenix School Team!