Students and staff at Smith Intermediate School welcomed over 50 veterans and active-duty members last week for a special Veterans Day Program on Friday (November 8).
Members of the Student Council made poppies and some of the school’s classes made “Thank You” cards, all of which were passed out to the special guests of honor.
A “Veterans Tree” was also created in the front entrance, where students and staff hung pictures of past and present veterans from their families during the weeks leading up to the assembly.
“Many times students see Veterans Day as just another day off from school and they forget the real reason behind the holiday,” said Music teacher Heidi Shelley. “This assembly helps our students remember why it is a holiday and at the same time honors the people who we celebrate on that day…our veterans and military members.”
Providing the entertainment were Fourth Grade “Showstoppers,” who sang bounds of patriotic songs that had everyone in attendance carrying a tune.
“Music is a great way to bring people together,” Shelley added. “Today we had our whole audience singing along on some of the songs, including our guest veterans. That’s pretty special.”
Smith fourth-graders also spend time compiling Veterans Day research during their recent library classes, which they presented to the very folks they were studying on Friday.
“By doing research, we learned more about the different wars they participated in,” Fourth-grader Natalie Burns said. “It was great to get to know the different veterans and learn more about their service. We are so proud to have veterans who protect us and it’s great to be able to celebrate them.”
Finally, the school donated five boxes filled with items that will be brought to the VA Hospital in Syracuse.
The materials were derived from a “wish list” published by the hospital, which included coloring books, word find books, crossword puzzle books, sweat pants, sweat shirts, powder, nail clippers, denture cleaner, denture grip, magazines and stamps.
“We collected items for the VA Hospital because it helps some of our veterans,” said fourth-grader Josh Ventimilla. “Many of them have fought in wars for us. We can help a little by giving back.”