Greetings from Winfield City Schools,

We will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving, and this is often a time of food, family, and fellowship.  There is, however, a time for reflective thought also that sometimes can be missed depending on the age and time of rest afforded to the individual that celebrates this holiday.  Recently, I had the opportunity to hear a message about the thankful Pilgrims.  It was a lesson in history told by my pastor and painted a picture that allowed me to have a great deal of reflection on thankfulness. 

The Pilgrims came to the new country in November of 1620.  Many times I studied in school and remember being taught that they left England because of religious persecution.  One thing lost, at least in my memory that was made clear to me as I heard another account of the story, was that they came to protect the spiritual life of the youth.  Needless to say, a 37 year veteran of education perked up a bit when those words were spoken.  I thought a good bit about our youth in our schools today and went back and forth on listening to the message at hand and comparing and contrasting where we are over 400 years later.  There were 102 people on the Mayflower when it landed in Cape Code, Massachusetts, and only 37 of the passengers were Pilgrims.  There were also crew members and passengers that paid to make the trip that were not Pilgrims.  Together they traveled for 66 days to reach a wrong destination.  You see, they were headed for Virginia, but they missed the original destination.

As I mentioned, my mind was going back in forth during this message, and I thought about the ones that were crew members.  Their job was to see that everyone arrived at their destination.  There was no guarantee about the length of time or promise that there would not be peril during the 66 days of travel.  To me, I thought how their role was much like that of an educator.  You see, the Pilgrims would stay, but the crew members would return and eventually get a new group of people to bring on a journey to a new destination of discovery and learning.  But what about those who came to protect the spiritual life of the youth?  Again, to me, those had to be the caregivers.  The caregivers, along with the crew, were willing to endure many unknowns to reach a new destination.  They had to work together along with some who were simply on the journey as paid passengers.  They had to endure a new land, new people, terrible living conditions, hard winters, and sometimes famine when the harvest was not bountiful.  There was even a time when each person was given 5 kernels of corn as sustenance for an entire day. Needless to say, we have much for which to be thankful. I hope everyone in our Pirate Family has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  God Bless!