Washington School’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is beloved among the students and staff at Washington School. Principal Mr. Bill Mulcahy reported that “[the] program is dedicated each year to Mrs. Ersalesi, who believed that school should be a fun place for children to learn and grow. “ Twelve years ago, Mrs. Betty Ersalesi started the parade at Washington School. According to her son, Mr. Brian Ersalesi– now supervisor of English and Fine Arts at Rutherford High School– she believed in making learning enjoyable. Today, the parade includes activities about history, social studies, reading and writing, which helps all the children participating in the parade learn while also having fun, just as Mrs. Ersalesi would have wanted.
The parade is now being run by Mrs. Wendy Rossiter, a passionate second-grade teacher who has expanded the program in ways unimaginable. There are now new props and new ideas that give all of the children an opportunity to perform. The Washington School Thanksgiving Day Parade now includes an assortment of Thanksgiving songs sung by the students. They have a student recite the story of Thanksgiving and the historical background of the holiday. Also, the school selects students and gives them the opportunity to read poems to the other attendees. The program has even expanded to have a comic team that tells Thanksgiving jokes, which brings even more joy to the students and staff. Finally, they have the opportunity to hear an original poem by Ms. Louise Micci, which is a unique and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Twelve years ago, the Washington School Thanksgiving Day Parade was started by Mrs. Betty Ersalesi. Today, with the help of Mrs. Wendy Rossiter and the rest of the second-grade team, we have a program that brings enjoyment to the students and the attendees. This shows the students that learning can be fun, a gift that the rest of Rutherford hopes these students will continue to feel.