Along with the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, students at Oak View Alternative High School served up an extra helping of friendship, pride and holiday spirit at their annual Thanksgiving feast Tuesday.
About 75 students, teachers and district officials attended the feast. The traditional holiday foods were brought in by the students.
The feast, now in its 17th year, marks the beginning of an annual series of community support activities by the students.
Between now and Christmas, students at the school will involve themselves in charitable activities, including gathering canned food and clothing for members of a Navajo tribe, collecting toilet paper for the "Santa Comes to Agoura" program and obtaining about 40 gifts for developmentally disabled students at the West Valley Development School in Van Nuys.
Oak View Principal Millie Andress said helping others means a lot to the students at the alternative school, which is a voluntary educational program for students who are falling behind or having other troubles in their studies.
Mikala Hall, a 17-year-old senior and self-proclaimed "school president," brought in a cake for the feast. She said it feels good to give back to the community, especially because the school and its students have a bad reputation.
"It makes me feel good because it gives us a chance to show we are just students," Hall said. "I love to prove people wrong."