W.C. Fields is credited with saying “Never work with children or animals.” In fairness, it is difficult for even the most focused adults to concentrate on another adult in the companionship of an adorable, nipping puppy, or a child with their wide-eyed innocence, and sweet sincerity. Children take us back to simpler times, carefree days, and a less complicated world view. In them, we find hope for a better tomorrow — inspired generation after inspired generation.

The following quotes from children at Holy Rosary School, Duryea, under the principalship of Melissa Skutack, and Wyoming Area Catholic School, Exeter, under the principalship of Eileen Rishcoff, are guaranteed to produce smiles. Perhaps even take you back to your own childhood, or back to the days of your child’s Crayola-colored turkey hanging proudly on the wall for your Thanksgiving feast.

There is much to be thankful for at Holy Rosary School, as children welcomed the opportunity to share their favorite classes, what they loved about HRS, and most importantly for today, what they were thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Eleanor Chapin, 5, is in kindergarten. “Her last name is spelled C-h-a-p-i-n. Right, Eleanor?” asked Mrs. Skutack with a smile. “That’s how Mommy spells it, Mrs. Skutack.” Residing in Ashley with parents Eric and Elizabeth, Eleanor is thankful for “my mommy and daddy. At Thanksgiving we take time for thanks, and I am also thankful for dark meat.”

Giuliana Kroski, 7, is in first grade and resides with parents Kelle and Bill Kroski in Pittston. Giuliana also has two siblings: brother, Kellen, in eighth grade, and sister, Isabella, in sixth grade. “I am thankful for my mom’s corn bread, and my parents.”

Natalie Lambert, 8, is in second grade and is from Wilkes-Barre, where she resides with parents Justin and Christie, and brother Carmen, who is in first grade. “I’m thankful for my family. I’m also thankful for my pets. I had other pets, but now I have one cat named Callie. I’m thankful for her.”

Sophia Matys, 10 years old, is in fifth grade. Sophia resides in Harding with parents Deirdre and Chris and is very excited about a fairly recent relocation to her new town. Sophia said, “I’m thankful for my family and friends. Also, for my nice house and my family that loves me. I’m thankful that we are able to see nature at our house, and that my friends are nice to me. I’m thankful that we are safe and have food. Not all families have these commodities.”

Lily Rupprecht, 13, will be graduating from eighth grade this spring. Lily resides in Old Forge with parents Adrianna and Ryan, and siblings J.J., fourth grade; Addie, third grade; and Nate, kindergarten. Lily said, “The most important thing is family. My family is always there for me. Whenever I need anything, they are there to help me. I am also thankful for my faith. It means a lot to me and has been a big part of my life. It’s a great thing to have to turn to, and it gets me through a lot. So family and faith. That’s most important to me.”

Across the bridge and over in Exeter, the students at Wyoming Area Catholic School, or “WAC” as it is affectionately referred to, also have a lot of wonderful things to say. It is obvious that there is a great deal in which to be thankful for at WAC as the students share stories, unique and funny talents, and their sincere gratitude.

Rory Mertz, 4, is in pre-kindergarten. Rory lives in Wyoming with parents Alex and Alison. “I am thankful for my mommy and daddy, and turkeys. I like to eat them up. I’ll eat the whole body on Thanksgiving Day!”

Madison Torbik, 8, is in third grade and resides with parents Meghan and Donald in Pittston, and her brother, Nathan, who is in fifth grade. “I am thankful for my family and my friends,” said Madison, “and my school. They’re nice to me.”

Next up was fourth grader Nathan Piccotti. Nathan, 10, resides in Pittston with parents David and Christine. Look for Nathan in late January 2023 when WAC presents “Into the Woods.” Demonstrating eyebrow tricks — the likes of which might never have been witnesses elsewhere, and that are sure to entertain and delight any roomful of people — Nathan said he is thankful for “my dog Tucker, my family and friends, and this school.”

Lila Newman, 11, is in fifth grade and resides in Falls with parents Angela and Ron Newman, and sister Ava, who is a senior at Scranton Preparatory School. “This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for family, friends and everything I have. A lot of people can’t have Thanksgiving, or they have it alone. I get to have mine with my family. I am thankful for everything.”

Paul Dominick, 12, is in seventh grade and resides in Pittston with parents Maria and Joseph, as well as sister, Giuliana, who is in eighth grade. Having moved to NEPA recently from Florida, Paul declared that he was thankful for “Food, my family, the internet and snow.”

Encouraging children to count their blessings and recognize the larger, often harsher world around them, is key to building empathy, compassion and humanitarianism. Holy Rosary School and Wyoming Area Catholic School are setting their students on sure footing as they grow and evolve into the future adults of our society.

How lucky we are.

From Holy Rosary and Wyoming Area Catholic, happiest Thanksgiving Day wishes to you and yours.


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