Mettawee celebrates community

By Jaime Thomas

The young served over 300 of their elders during an annual meal last Tuesday at the Mettawee Community School in West Pawlet.

The holiday feast, which the school has been hosting since it opened about 14 years ago, was a collaborative effort.

“They really feel because they contribute, they take ownership of it — it’s so positive,” principal Brooke DeBonis said of the students. Each class contributed something. The kindergarten and third-grade students, for example, made apple sauce, while the fifth- and sixth- grade students peeled and cut vegetables.

Every student sat with a senior guest, many of whom were grandparents or neighbors. Susan King was in charge of the seating.

“It’s a nice feeling to see everybody gathered,” King said.

DeBonis agrees.

“It means a lot when we have community events here,” she said.

DeBonis said the school served 130 pounds of potatoes and 165 pounds of turkey, along with other fixings like cranberry muffins and pumpkin bread.

While the students put together basic dishes, adults played a large role in preparing the feast.

“The kitchen staff does a tremendous amount of work cooking, etc. The parents contribute food, they help set up, they serve food and they assign a clean-up crew,” DeBonis said. “It’s really important to us that the community is involved.”

After pie for dessert, DeBonis thanked everyone and handed out flowers to key organizers, and then participants sang several songs, including “Country Life” and “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

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