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""Warm smiles and cheerful chants of “Happy Thanksgiving” broke through the crisp November air at Parkdale Head Start’s Thanksgiving Parade – part of the center’s Monthly ‘Family Wellness Day” initiative.

Each classroom is assigned one month and given the responsibility of choosing the wellness day activity for that month in which the entire site participates. November’s activity fell to Classroom #4. Teachers, Mrs. Barraza and Mrs. Hernandez conceived the idea of a Thanksgiving parade, as a way to develop large motor skills through marching and walking.

To help the teachers accomplish this task, Parkdale’s dedicated parent volunteers worked tirelessly for almost a week, designing and building the floats for each classroom, and helping the children create colorful costumes.

On the day of the parade, Head Start parents and staff gathered on Parkdale’s playground to watch as the children paid tribute to the historic first Thanksgiving. The children sang and marched in handmade pilgrim costumes and intricately decorated Native American attire.

The purposes of Wellness Days are to promote physical activity and fight obesity. Parents are included in Wellness Day activities to encourage exercise as a fun family event.

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