The last day of school before Thanksgiving break is one all elementary school kids look forward to. But at Soule Road Elementary, it's an extra special day. On Tuesday Nov. 21, before the kids go home for the holiday, SRE fourth graders welcome family members for Special Ancestor Day.
"It's just a program we do to have kids learn about their ancestors and what their lives were like when they were younger," said teacher Greg Roth, who organized the event this year. "We do it close to Thanksgiving because then a lot of people are in town to see family for the holidays so they can come to school for the event."
Roth said that in October, each child is given an interview sheet and assigned to interview a family member -- a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other older relative. The kids ask their relatives questions about what life was like when they were 10 -- school, toys, hobbies, chores, allowance and the prices of common items and activities. The students also ask their relatives about an important historic event that happened at that age and how they reacted to it. Finally, the ancestors are asked to give the students a piece of advice.
Over the course of the next month, the students compile the answers into paragraph form and complete a writing assignment about their ancestor. On Special Ancestor Day, the ancestors profiled are invited to school, where the students read their pieces aloud to them.
"It provides a connection with other generations," Roth said.
Roth inherited the project from two other SRE teachers. Pam Roth brought the event with her from Morgan Road Elementary when she changed schools. She and Marilyn Crevelling, Roth's predecessor, ran the event for some 15 years. Both are now retired.
A family affair