Tonya Woody smiled as she opened the door to two first-graders from Pelican Elementary on her doorstep on Wednesday afternoon, seeing a cheery pansy plant in the hands of one of the students.
First-grade teacher Susan Lawrie led Pelican students in a May Day greeting for Woody from the curb before going on their merry May Day way.
Five elementary classes and about 110 students from Pelican took about 126 pansies door-to-door to neighbors surrounding the school as a way to thank the community for supporting students and staff. Students took turns, either leaving plants on the doorstep if occupants were not at home, or greeted them at the door.
“I look forward to this every year,” Woody said, noting she was glad she took a lunch break when she did.
Lawrie said it was her first time participating in the tradition, which started at Pelican in 2000 by fifth-grade teacher Stephanie Dahm.
“I think it’s a great activity for building community relationships,” Lawrie said, while leading the students through the neighborhoods around the school.
Dawn Anderson, secretary at Pelican Elementary, said she has residents call the school in advance to make sure they are home when students are coming.
“They really enjoy seeing the kids,” Anderson said.
And for students, it’s a nice way to say thank you to the school’s neighbors, according to Melissa Wilson, assistant to the secretary.
May Day originates from a European holiday that celebrates the arrival of spring by giving flowers or other plants to neighbors.