Administrator’s Corner: Bridging generations through veterans appreciation ceremony

Published 8:00 pm Friday, November 11, 2022

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Administrator’s Corner by Tonya Franks

Different generations may hold different perspectives on topics but the bridge between generations is essential. It is important to build this bridge so that different generations have an understanding of one another. In an effort to foster understanding and appreciation, Halverson hosted a Veterans Appreciation program that allowed our students and staff to honor those who have valiantly served our country. This helps us ensure a lasting appreciation for the sacrifices our veterans have made to protect our freedoms. It also afforded students and staff the chance to celebrate student learning through veterans appreciation with peers, parents and the community.

Tonya Franks

Post 56 Honor Guard helped Halverson kick off the program by presenting our nation’s flag.  Honor Guard, students, staff, families and community guests joined in singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Our students had the opportunity to learn about each Honor Guard member following the national anthem. During a flag folding ceremony, students learned from our veterans what each fold of the flag represents.  

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In addition to the honor guard recognition and flag folding ceremony presentation, each grade level participated in a variety of standards-based activities that are tied to their social studies, arts or English language arts standards.  

Kindergarten and first grade recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Social studies standards address civic values and democracy. In kindergarten, students learn to describe symbols, songs and traditions that identify our nation and state; while in first grade, students should be able to explain why and when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, as well as provide examples of basic flag etiquette and other demonstrations of patriotism.

Second and third graders sang “Grand Old Flag.”  All grade levels have music performance standards. Second graders perform music with and for others, using technical accuracy and expression while third grade adds performing music for a specific purpose, using technical accuracy, expression and interpretation.

Fourth grade recited a poem, “Veteran’s Day” by Jessica Hawkins. Within the Reading Foundations of 4th grade English Language Arts standards is students reading grade-level texts fluently, with sufficient accuracy, rate and expression to support comprehension. 

Select fifth-grade students shared their essays titled, “What Veteran’s Day Means to Me?”  Social studies standards address History — Peoples, Cultures and Changes Over Time. Students learn that historical events have multiple causes and can lead to varied and unintended outcomes. Students in fifth grade have also been writing routinely for various purposes and disciplines, representing one’s own personal perspective, identity and voice. They have demonstrated the ability to develop and strengthen their writing by using the writing process including planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.

Third, fourth and fifth grade displayed visual arts.  Arts standards include strands of foundations, create, present, respond and connect. Art instruction asks students to make artistic choices in order to convey meaning through presentation and expects students to select artwork for display in a collection with a specific purpose or theme.

Preparing for our Veterans Appreciation program was a collective effort of all students and staff.  Students were filled with pride as they participated in our program.  Halverson students and staff would like to express their sincere thanks to Post 56 for their participation, as well as extend our appreciation to all veterans who have committed to serving our country and defending our freedoms.

Tonya Franks is principal of Halverson Elementary School.