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Fifth-graders in Ben Buehler's class at Boones Ferry talked about what they were grateful for during this holiday week

It's nearing Thanksgiving and discussion in Ben Buehler's fifth-grade class at Boones Ferry Primary surrounding gratefulness has students reflecting on their own lives. Below are four gratitude essays written to celebrate the holiday:

Gratitude; the blessing of being able to feel thankfulness. Gratitude is something I'm thankful for, but I want to write about three other things I'm thankful for: My family, friends and sports. While I'm writing this, I hope you think about the things you're thankful for. When you know what you are thankful for, you can appreciate them more.

I'm thankful for my family because they are there for me whenever I need it. For instance, my mom and dad help me when I'm hurt or sick. My mom and dad also buy me food, clothes, pay taxes and put a roof over my head. Whenever I need help with math my brother helps me with it or teaches me new stuff. My mom and dad also pay taxes for me to go to school and make friends.

My friends are also there for me whenever I need it. My friends Selena, Tennessee, Alex, and Andrew play soccer with me. Whenever I'm hurt or sad they help me get back up or make sure I am okay. Without my friends I would have nobody to play with. My friends also share their food with me when I forget my lunch. Without my friends I also wouldn't be able to play sports and have fun.

That's another thing I'm thankful for, is sports. I know you might think it's weird to be thankful for that, but don't judge, yet. Sports is very fun and inclusive, girl or boy, black or white, tall or short, anyone can play. Sports also lets you be mad. For example, when I was really mad that President Donald Trump won the election, I played football, boxing, and soccer to get over it. Okay, now you can judge.

Gratitude; think about it. Think about what you're thankful for. And if you did, try to appreciate them more. Maybe someday you can write an essay that is in the newspaper.

—Carmen Marshall

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." — Oprah Winfrey

Out of all the things I'm grateful for, I chose three to write this piece about. I chose to write about my family, modern medicine and clean water. As you will see, all of these have some impact on my life. My family has guided me. I benefit from clean food and water, and modern medicine has helped me to not get sick.

My family is a big part of my life. One reason I'm grateful for my family is that my parents pay for the fun activities that my brother and I would like to do. When I would like to do gymnastics, my parents enroll me in lessons. When my brother wants to go to Playdate PDX, the next rainy day we go there. Another reason I am thankful for my family is that when I get hurt, they help me. My brother asks if I would like an ice pack, and my mom comforts me. One final reason that I am grateful for my family — there are so many more — is that my parents make very good food. My brother and I are picky eaters so my mom tries to make us food that we like. And she does a good job at it! And nobody makes better popcorn than my dad! But some people don't have clean, good food. In addition to my family, I am also thankful for clean water.

Water is very important. In Chile, Peru and Mexico there is water stress. But there's even more countries with stress in Asia and Africa. In America, we take most of what we have for granted. One reason I am thankful for clean water is that we have plenty of it. Just imagine if there was no clean water, you would be sick in a month! Another reason that I am thankful for clean water is that some people without water cannot bathe. If we bathed in dirty water, we would be stinky all the time. Finally, I am thankful for water because of swimming. Swimming is a form of exercise that is in its own category. But floating around is fun too! As I said before, if we had to drink dirty water we would be sick and we would need medicine. That's why I'm thankful for modern medicine.

Modern medicine is very important. One reason I am thankful for modern medicine is that scientists and doctors have found cures for diseases that we didn't have many years ago. Just these tiny things have saved many lives. Another reason I am thankful for modern medicine is that it has prevented the spread of many diseases like smallpox, polio and many more.  One final reason I am thankful for modern medicine is that it keeps us healthy and feeling better. Think about all the times you've used medicine to clear up a snotty nose or all the times you got the flu shot. We didn't have these years ago.

Now that you've heard some of the many things I'm thankful for, think about what you're thankful for. And at the table on Thanksgiving Day, say thank you to the people that you appreciate and the people that have let you do the things that you like to do. Ask them, "What are you thankful for?"

"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." — Henry Miller

— Lucy Neron

There are thousands of things I am grateful for, but it would be very hard to write them all down in full. Here are three of the things I am most grateful for.   

One of the things I am most grateful for is my family. They protect me and feed me. My dad reads to me every night, my mom takes me to school every day and my sister sometimes plays with me. Without them, I would be completely lost. We often go on vacations together during summer break. We also go to Mount Hood during winter break. But we need someone to protect us and the community while away, like the police.

The police protect our home while we are away. If someone steals from our home, they find the thief and bring back our belongings. That is why I am grateful for them. Also, they help protect everyone in the world.

Finally, last, but definitely not least, I am thankful and grateful for the ability to live a wonderful life, make new friends, have a loving family and all live in peace.

These are three of the things I am most grateful for. Thanks to you all for reading. I hope you have a good day.

— Sam Faveluke

I am grateful for about a million things, but the three things I am most grateful for are my family, all animals including my hamster, and the police and firefighters. All of these things help and comfort me.

I am grateful for my family. My mom loves and takes care of me by cooking and buying my siblings and me food. My dad goes to work, gets us money to buy food and he got us a house. He is also a goofball sometimes! My older sister, Natalie, is 17 and she is always asking me to go to the store with her, both because she is embarrassed to go alone and because she wants my company. My older brother, Ethan, is 15 and he is funny. My other older sister and my younger sister, Ella, who is 12 and Grace, who is almost seven, love to play stuffed animals with me.

My mom also got me my hamster, Sage. I love my hamster and all animals, especially tigers, cheetahs, wolves, foxes, leopards, jaguars and black panthers. I am grateful for animals because when I am frustrated, sad, or angry, animals seem to feel that and help me feel better. When I go to piano practice, I will go in the ravine by my piano teacher's backyard, while my sister is practicing. When I am in the ravine, animals seem to come to life just for me.

When I am holding my hamster I make sure he feels safe. Police and firefighters help me feel safe, and everybody else in the world feel safe too. Imagine if there were no firefighters and somebody's house caught on fire. There would be nobody to save anyone in the house in time! Lots of people would die unnecessarily or get severely injured, and if anyone survived, their house would be damaged or destroyed. And if there were no police, people would be robbed and possibly injured or killed much more often, and almost always get away! Luckily, we have both police and firefighters to keep us safe.

If you are not thankful for any of these things, you must not be grateful for many things at all. I am grateful for these things because they help me feel safe, loved and not alone. You should be grateful for at least one of these things too. This Thanksgiving, think of what you are grateful for.

— Brinley Fister

Contract Publishing

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