November Principal’s Book of the Month

Dear P.S. 88Q Families,                                                                                 November 2019

     Happy November!  I hope everyone has transitioned from our warm weather to a more chilly temperature.  With the Fall, comes many holidays that we celebrate.  One in particular is Thanksgiving, which happens to be one of my favorite holidays.  What is there not to love about being surrounded by family, and most of all GRATITUDE.  This Thanksgiving, as well as every day, I am thankful for all the blessings I have in my life.  My two daughters, one of which will be home from college for the first time since August this Thanksgiving, and my oldest daughter who is even happier to see her sister than anyone.  I am thankful for my family and friends who support me on days I feel like I need help.  I am especially thankful for my PS 88Q family, who I see more than my family most days.  In these short 14 months, I have felt welcome, and part of something I could only dream of.  All of your smiling faces, friendly words and collaboration have ensured me that life surely is good!  THANK YOU!!

     Our Principal Book of the Month for November is Giving Thanks by Chief Jake Swamp.  The words in this book are based on the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants, that are still spoken at ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations. These words of thanks come to us from the Native people known as the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations–Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora. The people of the Six Nations are from upstate New York and Canada. According to the Canadian and U.S. census there are 74,518 Iroquois in North America. 

The three Mohawk clans–Wolf, Turtle, Bear–in turn contain three sub-clans; they hail nine Chiefs in all (Chief Swamp is a Chief of the Wolf Clan) and nine clan mothers. In all the Six Nations, there are 50 Chiefs, each of whom is selected by clan mothers who observe children for leadership skills. The illustrations contain much symbolism. Two examples are: water, which symbolizes continuance because life forms depend on it; and the four winds, which are represented by different animals, i.e., the east by the moose, the west by the cougar, the south by the (gentle) deer, the north by the (strong) bear, and are considered to play a role in how crops grow. 

     The students will listen to this book during this month, and discussing it.  Some of the questions we ask the students are:

  • What are some things that you are thankful for? Where do these things come from and how do you receive them?
  • What do you appreciate about the earth and the environment?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Mrs. O’Shaughnessy, Mrs. Lowe, Mrs. Palesty

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