Coronado public schools made quite a statement Friday, November 9, 2012. Coronado Middle School, Strand Elementary and Village Elementary (including the Early Childhood Development Center or ECDC) all held Veterans’ day celebrations at their respective sites. For the fourth year in a row, the message was clear in Coronado: We value and appreciate our Veterans and the experiences they can share, helping to bring history to life.
HISTORY developed “Take a Veteran to School day” with local cable companies to “link veterans of all ages with young people in our schools and communities.” In Coronado, the day is sponsored by Time Warner cable. Both Village and CMS hosted a before school breakfast for students and their guest veterans. Coffee and some baked items were generously paid for by Time Warner, while most of the other treats were donated by families.
Flags at ECDC and Village Elementary, respectively.
Students at ECDC were treated to a presentation by two Navy SEALS, complete with glow sticks for each child. The SEALS brought gear that they use and the kids got to touch and try on some of the gear. Both the ECDC and Village campuses were lined with American Flags purchased through a generous donation from local orthodontist Dr. Joseph Mullins.
Navy Veteran Dr. Joseph Mullins and friends.
Guests at the Village breakfast were welcomed by Principal Whitney DeSantis who then read a very age appropriate poem about Veterans’ day. Each Village classroom was treated to at least one speaker. An EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) guest brought a robot to show the kids, while other speakers had slide presentations, pictures to pass around, models to share and gear to wear like gas masks, flak jackets, and night vision goggles. Guest veterans of children attending the school were introduced to the classroom prior to the speaker’s presentation. There were pilots, submariners, supply officers, nurse corps and surface sailors, veterans from Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts. Volunteers from the USS Coronado, who have developed a Partnership in Education (PIE) with Village Elementary, were instrumental to the program's success.
Village Elementary Principal Whitney DeSantis reads a poem about Veterans day to the crowd, while USS Coronado sailors (background) keep everything running smoothly.
There are hundreds of paper stars lining the walls of Village Hall to honor the Veterans of our community. Each family was provided with one star on card stock and invited to decorate it with the name of their veteran, branch and dates of service. Many families made photocopies of the star or picked up extras in the school office to honor all the veterans they know! It’s quite a sight to see.
Members of KCMS (turquoise shirts) video the group assembly while the student body show off their yellow shirts.
At the middle school, nearly every student was donning a yellow “Take a Veteran to school day” shirt generously provided by HISTORY. The day started with remarks from Principal Jay Marquand and NASNI Commanding Officer Capt. Gary Mayes, followed by a broadcast formulated by the digital media class and shown via the school’s news program on KCMS. Each CMS class had two guest speakers. The entire CMS student body was then treated to a group assembly in the high school gym. The celebration for CMS, Village and ECDC culminated with students and guests looking skyward as they waited for the arrival of sky divers from Sky Dive San Diego, who donated their time and talent for the celebration.
Group photo of guest veterans taken at Coronado Middle School as part of Take a Vet to School Day.
(Photo courtesy Greer Goebels)
Silver Strand Elementary marked the occasion of Veterans day with the fourth annual “Silver Strand Honors its Military Heroes.” Military families and veterans were honored as part of the flag raising ceremony in the morning. NASNI Executive Officer Capt. Chris Sund was on hand to offer remarks and volunteers from the USS John Paul Jones, with whom Strand has developed a Partnership in Education (PIE) assisted with the activities.
Students at Strand Elementary participate in the raising of the flag as part of the school's Veterans day salute.
(Photo courtesy Sarah Mulhern)
Following the flagpole ceremony, families were invited to Strand Hall for snacks and to have their photos taken for a banner called “Our Military Hero Families” that will hang in the school’s new Family Connections Room for the remainder of the school year. A second banner to honor deployed family members will accompany the family display.
NAS North Island Executive Officer Chris Sund addresses the crowd at Strand Elementary's Veterans day event.
(Photo courtesy Sarah Mulhern)
Principal Bill Cass offered that the goal of the event is to “help honor the tremendous efforts and sacrifices being made daily by our wonderful military families, as well as acknowledge them particularly during times of deployment.”
It takes months and many hours to coordinate this program at each school. It was a wonderful event and will hopefully be a mainstay in our schools for years to come.
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