Observing Veterans Day

This week has been incredible for many reasons. Today, we had our first all-school assembly in more than 18 months. That assembly was about Veterans Day. Our students learned about the origins of Veterans Day and why we celebrate each November 11. Jasper Oliver played a very moving rendition of Taps on his violin for our moment of silence at the end of the assembly. Hauntingly lovely is the phrase which comes to mind to describe it. In addition to our Veterans Day assembly, there were several other related activities:
  • Leigh Berkley shared a video of the second graders doing a “plate routine” focusing on artful movement to America the Beautiful. It’s on our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/2edOlGGE-O0.
  • Kindergarten and first graders are learning about our national march, The Stars and Stripes Forever, how it invokes feelings of patriotism, and how it is connected to our school. (It’s the tune to our school song.) They are also learning a movement exercise with American flags to the song.
  • Second and third graders are learning about the different marches of the military branches, and how music plays a role in military/government events. Students love playing a game where they have to guess which military branch the song is from by identifying the melodies and remembering some of the lyrics. They are performing a body percussion piece to The Stars and Stripes Forever, breaking down the song into familiar rhythmic patterns.
  • Students in kindergarten, first, and second grades are writing letters to veterans and service members to express gratitude for their service to our country.
 James River is full of happy, motivated, and patriotic students. I see this every day in the halls as we facilitate their transition from kindergarten to the cusp of high school. Kids are playing and learning and serving the school and the larger community. I love James River. What a place to spend one’s childhood!