Greenfield students celebrate togetherness through Turkey Trots

  • Desmond Drake was one of the runners to place first in the Newton School fourth-grade Turkey Trot on Wednesday Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Newton School teacher Taisha Galipault hands a student a necklace during the Turkey Trot at the school Wednesday morning. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Fourth-graders Yulian Miranda and Ava Eggsware ran a half-mile as part of the Turkey Trot on Wednesday morning at the Newton School in Greenfield. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Newton School runner Riley Stanclift dressed as a turkey for the school’s Turkey Trot on Wednesday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Newton School teacher Jay Butynski dressed up as a turkey for the school’s annual Turkey Trot on Wednesday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Newton School fourth-graders kick off their annual Turkey Trot on Wednesday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Greenfield Middle School students ran from the school to the Greenfield Post Office for the Turkey Trot on Wednesday morning. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Greenfield Middle School students made a gratitude chain as part of the Thanksgiving-themed activities on Wednesday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • After the Turkey Trot at Greenfield Middle School, students played and danced outside. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Nate Woodard, Greenfield Middle School teacher Ashley Winn and Auburn Mass give out oranges to students who finished running in the school’s Turkey Trot on Wednesday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 11/27/2019 4:23:15 PM

GREENFIELD — After taking a trot at their respective schools Wednesday morning, students and teachers at Newton School and Greenfield Middle School are ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Beginning with the fourth-grade class at Newton School, students ran a half-mile and collected necklaces after each of their four laps that were later exchanged for a prize.

Principal Melodie Goodwin said the Turkey Trot was first organized three years ago.

“I went to a trot in Adams and thought, ‘We could do that with the kids,’” she said. “We love it. There are other turkey-themed events, like reading about how to catch a turkey and filling out cards about being thankful. One of the things we’re thankful for is our health, and the trot is part of that. It’s a fun event outside during a time when people aren’t necessarily promoted to go outside.”

Physical education teacher Jay Butynski, former sports editor at the Greenfield Recorder, said the students practiced running laps in preparation for the trot.

“It’s a great form of exercise,” he said, “and it’s a fun event to be outside running around.”

Some of the front runners included Desmond Drake and Ava Eggsware, who said they were excited to participate.

“It was fun to run, and it’s helpful for when you need to play games where you run,” Ava said. “Then you get used to running a lot.”

Desmond said he’s used to running because he plays hockey.

“Running is good for our bodies, it helps us get stronger,” he said. “We also get keychain necklaces for being in first place.”

Greenfield Middle School

Similarly at the Greenfield Middle School, students made a gratitude chain and did a Turkey Trot from the school to the post office and back prior to a school-wide recess, complete with music and dancing. This is the fifth year the middle school has been doing its turkey trot, according to teacher Ashley Winn.

Music teacher Maria Scotera said the school is focused on building community between students, teachers, parents and other residents.

“It’s a time for us to reflect on what we’re grateful for,” Principal Lynn Dole said. “We incorporated physical fitness and wellness as part of this chance to be together.”

“Considering the holiday, we wanted to recognize what is good in our lives,” Scotera said. “Students in each advisory group took a strip of paper and wrote one thing they are grateful for, then the strips were stapled together to make a chain. It was so long, it nearly wrapped around the room.”

Students also participated in a gobble competition, where they anonymously gobbled into a microphone; raised $700 for the American Cancer Society; and collected food to donate to the Franklin Area Survival Center.

Seventh-grader Zoë Naughton-O’Connor said she enjoyed that the event brought all of the grades together.

“It’s a fun activity to raise school spirit,” she said.

Similarly, seventh-grader Shane Toomey said the event boosted the students’ moral.

“I think it helped everyone end the week on a high note,” he said. “We do awesome things here and have a lot of fun. It was also good to get our bodies moving and be active.”

Seventh-grader Nate Johnston said he felt the turkey-themed day was a reward for all of the students’ hard work.

“We’re completing the second trimester of school and we just had a food drive,” he said. “It’s a good celebration and time to not be sitting in school. We get to be part of the community and have fun together.”

Reach Melina Bourdeau at mbourdeau@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.


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