John F. Kennedy Elementary School students formed tidy lines as they made the trek to Brewster High School on a recent chilly November morning. They filed inside, taking their seats in the Performing Arts Center, where familiar-looking veterans sat in the front rows. Family members of JFK students, the veterans were there to enjoy the elementary school’s Veterans Day assembly.
The student-run celebration did not disappoint. Deb Gorey’s and Vivien Ciavara’s second-grade classes lined the stage, with students coming up to the microphone one by one to say a few lines each, explaining Veterans Day, honoring our country, and honoring veterans. Throughout the presentation, the crowd, under the instruction of music teacher Christine Kayler, sang patriotic songs.
Some of the most emotional moments of the assembly came towards the end. First, the crowd watched a video that featured JFK students talking about their veterans. Students were thrilled to see familiar faces on the screen, while family members held their phones in the air, recording the sweet sentiments. Students shared everything from their love of their veterans to the special tricks they used to keep from getting sick on naval ships.
After the videos, Sara DiDio’s first-grade class came to the stage to recite a poem and present veterans with stars from retired flags. The gesture is a way of showing thanks and letting veterans know they are not forgotten.
The celebration was a great way to honor veterans while also showing students real examples of civic responsibility, one of the essential skills in the district’s Strategic Coherence Plan.