CLARK, NJ — Valley Road Elementary School students celebrated Thanksgiving this year by hosting a Thanksgiving Day parade. The students learned about Tony Sarg, the creator of the Thanksgiving Day balloons, by reading the story “Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of the Macy’s Parade.” Students in various grades were then tasked with creating their own floats, using materials such as balloons, popsicle sticks, straws, construction paper and tape.
Art teacher Kerry Kennedy created the background of New York City streets, which took up the Valley Road Elementary School stage. Students then paraded on the stage with their floats. Valley Road Elementary School teacher Melissa Sakowski, organizer of the event, and teacher Nicole Reagan acted as news anchors, providing commentary throughout the parade. School counselor Sarah Badillo provided the parade music.
Sakowski said, “I did this activity with my class last year and we paraded in the hallway. This school year, I thought it would be a great idea to make this a schoolwide event, and it turned out amazing. The whole school was smiling, laughing and just enjoying the whole atmosphere of the parade. The students did an amazing job creating the balloon floats. It was such a feel-good assembly and a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. I look forward to making this a new tradition at Valley Road School!”
Photos Courtesy of Christine Casale Broski