After putting a two-year hold on the tradition of inviting local veterans to Sag Harbor Elementary’s Morning Program, faculty and staff were able to restart this in-person event on Nov. 10. Michelle Grant, the elementary school’s counselor, curated the event which included breakfast for the veterans, and a musical singalong and Veterans Day presentation at Morning Program.
The Student Council, comprised of students in grades three through five and run by elementary teachers, Jennifer Warner, and Jen Regan, joined together to greet and interact with the veterans for breakfast. The students were eager to get coffee for the veterans who enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by the faculty.
Located in the gym, Sag Harbor Elementary students, faculty, staff, and parents all gathered for this special Morning Program. “We do a lot of fun things at Morning Program that allows the students to be silly and loud. They dance, play games, and we often encourage an appropriate level of energy and participation,” said Grant. “Our Veterans Celebration, however, has a weightiness to it, a level of seriousness that requires a different level of decorum. I am always amazed at how our students, including the kindergartners, understand the importance of both the attendance of our guests and the holiday being celebrated. They show such respect to our veterans being honored.”
For more than 20 years, Sag Harbor Elementary has continued this Veterans Day celebration. Students sang along to songs like “This Land is Your Land,” listened to a brief presentation on the importance of Veterans Day, and were introduced to each veteran in attendance. At the end of Morning Program, the elementary students gathered around the veterans to hand out letters and cards they created as an integration from their service-learning project and English Language Arts classes.
“Our teachers do such a thorough job of educating our students about what a veteran is and their role in our country's freedoms and security; I think the students really are grateful to have the opportunity to thank them personally,” explained Grant. “The veterans who attended this year expressed so much gratitude for the school and they will bring the letters and cards to share with other veterans who were not able to join us.”
Those in attendance included: George Everett, John Schroeder, Charles Lattanzio, Anthony Bernard, Frank Krzyzewski, Rob Doty, Robert Browngardt, Ben Fischer, Edward Burke, Bill Mott, and Tim Keller. Former Elementary School teaching assistant and current Pierson Middle School special education teacher, Taylor Hommen, was also present and celebrated for her service in the armed forces.
Photo caption: This year, the Veterans Day Morning Program tradition continued in person at Sag Harbor Elementary school.