School honors local veterans

Article Published: Nov. 12, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
School honors local veterans

Parkway Elementary School students applaud as Robert Bumbaugh, a 91-year-old veteran of the United States Navy, makes his way through a parade during the school's Bring-a-Vet program on Friday.

Photo by Mark Mitchell

The students of Parkway Elementary honored veterans Friday morning at the school.

This is the third annual Bring a Vet to School program for Parkway and this event included the students from every grade. In past years, the Veteran's Day celebration has been hosted by first-grade classes.

Nearly 60 veterans from all five branches of the military attended the event. They were welcomed to the school by the pre-kindergarten through second grade students waving flags and cheering as the veterans walked the hallway to the music room.

The walls were lined with the artwork of the third through fifth grade classes. Several veterans came to the school early to speak to students in the sixth through the eighth grade.
First-grade teacher Susan Coffey organizes the celebration.

"The past two years generated a lot of interest and the other grades wanted to participate this year," she said.

"The social studies committee organized Pre-K through 8 participation."

The first and second grades sang medleys of patriotic songs. Members of the National Guard, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps. and Navy were asked to stand and be recognized for their service. A slide show of personal messages from first grade students was shown before they walked through the room asking for veterans' autographs.

The Bring a Vet to School program is funded through a grant from the Watauga Education Foundation and the Parent Teacher Student Association.

The funds pay for gifts to the veterans and education materials on Veteran's Day for the classrooms.

Each veteran was presented with a T-shirt reading "From the latest generation to the greatest generation" and featured students' signatures printed on the back.

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