Gathering together

Navigator and Voyager students share Friendsgiving.


There were smiles, hugs, and enough Thanksgiving food — turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a variety of pies — to force a loosening of the belt. 

On Monday night, students from the Navigator program at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and the Voyager program welcomed their teachers, parents, and extended families to join them for their fifth annual Friendsgiving potluck in the high school cafeteria. (Full disclosure: My wife worked as a teaching assistant with these students in a summer program, and I benefited by getting an invite to this feast.)

Ahead of the event, students learned about the indigenous population, particularly the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

The real feast came after everyone ate, as the students performed a talent show with master of ceremonies Connor McGrath introducing each of his fellow students. Connor also performed his original song, “Women Trains Are Really Useful.”

There was a performance of “Shake it Off” by Becki DeOliviera, “Colder Weather” by Kyra Wildanger, “Ado Porteiro” by Julie Barbosa, “My Heart Will Go On” by Grace Carroll, “Trouble” by Kayden Devine, “Shameless” by Alyssa Sylvia, and a rousing rendition of “Tocando Ferente” by Jhonatha De Oliveira with Brazilian teacher Daniel Soares, and ESP Pete Landry. Sofia Fuller spoke about the Island’s indigenous population, and while he didn’t have an official performance, Andres Sanchez-Roa entertained with his dancing.

To close out the enjoyable evening, the students led the audience in a performance of “Crowded Table.”

A turkey was donated by Edgartown Meat and Fish, and the Edgartown Police Department provided paper products for the event.

Participants left with full bellies and hearts.