Paying tribute to those who sacrificed so much for America’s freedom is a lesson many educators share with students of all ages, and for those at Pauls Valley’s Jefferson Early Learning Center the lessons can start as soon as that first year.
Taking charge with the theme, those like pre-kindergarten teachers RexAnn Freeman and Ainslee Davis are using the upcoming Veterans Day weekend to allow their students to learn about such sacrifices through a community program this Friday, Nov. 9.
Starting at 9 a.m., each of the four pre-K classes invites any veterans in the region to drop by to hear songs and receive crafts made by the students as a way of offering thanks.
“We’ve had some respond already, but we haven’t had many yet,” said Davis, noting how a few veterans have expressed interest in stopping by and how they’d like to see examples from every branch of service.
“Each pre-school class does their own thing in their classroom... this year we’re doing the ceremony.”
The songs the kids plan on singing will include classics like God Bless America, Grand Old Flag, the Star Spangled Banner and a veterans day song, said Davis.
It will take place in their auditorium after a flag presentation by local Boy Scout Troop 73 and the kids are even encouraged to wear patriotic colors.
However, for Davis, the connection to the holiday is also a personal matter of pride with relatable family connections like her husband Jamie, who was in the Army during Desert Storm as well as relatives going back to World War II.
Freeman actually served as a member of the Air Force primarily in the 1970s, handling aircraft maintenance and gladly relates as often as she can the importance of respecting service members.
In the end, both feel it’s a good practice to pass on and for it to continue, patriotism must be taught.
“I just have an appreciation for veterans and wanted to do something for them... To me it brings pride out in our country and thanks them for fighting for our freedom,” said Davis.
“It teaches them about what a veteran is, what they did and why they did it."