Highland News Leader

Grantfork, Alhambra to recognize, honor veterans at annual assembly

Grantfork Elementary and Alhambra Primary school students will don their patriotic shoes Friday, Nov. 8, for their annual Veterans Day program.

The two schools use this opportunity to thank veterans for their service to the country ahead of Veterans Day, which is Monday, Nov. 11.

“Obviously we want the students to remember our veterans,” said Cindy Tolbert, principal at both Granktfork Elementary and Alhambra Primary. “And that’s why we have the assembly. We obviously encourage kids to wear red, white and blue. We think it’s important for the students to know what the veterans have done for us and take the day to honor them through the assembly.”

Here is a list of events for the assembly, which takes place from 10-11 a.m. at Alhambra:

  • 9:45-10 a.m.: Doors open Third grade students (10 total) hold flags so veterans and guests can walk through the tunnel of American flags upon entering the gym
  • 10-10:05 a.m.: Pledge of Allegiance
  • 10:05-10:10 a.m.: Third grade students read poems (10 total)
  • 10:10-10:20 a.m.: Hitz Home will play three patriotic songs on bells
  • 10:20-10:25 a.m.: Fourth grade students read poem (four total)
  • 10:20-10:30 a.m.: Fifth grade band plays
  • 10:30-10:50 a.m.: Highland VFW presents the USA Flag and What It Represents; Crystal Huelsmann shares artifacts
  • 10:50-10:55 a.m.: Fifth grade students students read “Thank You’s” (four total)
  • 10:55-11:05 a.m.: Students stand in place and sing two songs for ceterans under the direction of Jamie Keys; red, white and blue confetti, fifth grade students (six total)
  • 11:05-11:10 a.m.: Kindergarten through third grade students exit the gym and wave to the veterans; grades fourth-fifth shake veterans’ hands and give them their dog tags when they exit the gym

For gym decorations, kindergarten and first, second and third grade students from Alhambra will create “Thank you” stars. As noted above, the fourth and fifth graders from Grantfork will make the dog tags. There will be red, white, and blue confetti as well.

“The students and staff really look forward to this,” Tolbert said. “A lot of the teachers do extension activities in the classroom, too, around Veterans Day. We try to involve everybody. And every year we try to do something through the VFW to learn about and educate the kids about some of the things the military does. This year it will revolve around folding the flag.”

Tolbert said her favorite aspects of the assembly are the students’ participation, their taking ownership of it and them thanking the veterans themselves.

“This is not a cookie cutter assembly,” she said. “We try to come up with something creative each year and partake in ones thanking veterans as opposed to just having a speaker come in. The kids get up and sing to the veterans some patriotic songs. To see 200+ kids belt out songs is a very moving and touching moment for not just the veterans but for everybody. They usually do a really good job.”

The Veterans Day committee consists of Lindsey Kraus, Linda Stearns and Tolbert.

Red Ribbon Week

Granktfork and Alhambra also finished Red Ribbon Week on Friday, Nov. 1.

According to Wikipedia, Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. It began as a tribute to fallen DEA special agent Enrique Camerena in 1985.

The schools had different dress up days each day accompanied with catchy sayings.

“The kids are encouraged to dress up, and teachers have the option to do different Red Ribbon activities,” Tolbert said. “We just make a big deal about it and talk about it at morning assemblies or all school assemblies.”

Tolbert said the week was a success.