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A WEST40 THANKSGIVING

School is a place to learn. To improve your knowledge and prepare for a bright future. But it can also be a place where families connect—where they can share something greater together.



The West40 ALOP program decided to create that spirit of togetherness by holding a Thanksgiving dinner that invited students, teachers, administrators and families to gather for a meal and mark another year. Parents are usually asked to come to school for routine events—like parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings—but this felt more like a carefree celebration.


"PARENTS ARE USUALLY ASKED TO COME TO SCHOOL FOR ROUTINE EVENTS, BUT THIS FELT MORE LIKE A CAREFREE CELEBRATION."


Throughout the evening, students led the way. As part of the ALOP program, they have access to an in-school team of advocates that help them through personal and family issues, academic challenges and anything else that comes up. Now, by organizing this event themselves, the students had decided to give back to everyone that supports them. Several students had been working since summer to plan the event.


Before enjoying their meal, everyone in attendance watched a video, “What I’m Thankful For,” that gave students the chance to express their gratitude for the people in their lives.

The group also heard from the school’s principal, who said he felt honored to take part in a student-organized dinner. “There’s just something special about sitting down at a table and sharing a meal with someone,” he said.


“THERE’S JUST SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT SITTING DOWN AT A TABLE AND SHARING A MEAL WITH SOMEONE.”




Finally, the students took the stage to give short speeches in both English and Spanish, thanking their teachers and families for their help in overcoming personal issues.

While the Thanksgiving season is short—and often eclipsed by the holidays that follow—attendees went home from this West40 event feeling a spirit of love and thankfulness that may just last them the whole year.


"THEY WENT HOME FEELING A SPIRIT OF LOVE AND THANKFULNESS THAT MAY JUST LAST THEM THE WHOLE YEAR."

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