Whole School Flag Project Commemorates the 15 Year Anniversary of 9/11
Do you realize that elementary students in the classroom today were not born before the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11, which took place fifteen years ago this month? Many in our nation feel it is our responsibility to pass this piece of history on to the next generation so it will not be forgotten. The founders of the 9/11 Day organization hope to make something positive out of this tragedy.
“Our goal is to rekindle and reinforce the important lessons of empathy, service and unity that arose from the 9/11 tragedy,” said David Paine, president and co-founder of 9/11 Day, “and to encourage all Americans and our leaders to work more closely together again as one nation to address the challenges facing our society.”
With this spirit in mind, the teachers and staff of St. Mary School began a school-wide flag making project that spanned all ages and grades and incorporate all subject areas. Led by the Junior High teachers, students in K-7 looked at the flag in math lessons, while the 8th graders helped to use their knowledge of proportions and angles to figure out how to create star patterns to be shared across the school. K-2nd traced stars, while 3rd – 5th cut and glued. Junior High students worked to dye the fabric in the science lab and in English; they translated the words of The Star Spangled Banner into their own words.
The project was then sewn together by the school secretary Karyn Brown and raised during a “Pray for Peace” service on 9/12. Mrs. Amber Yeager shared the story of the flag after a blessing by Father Dan Redmond. All students recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “God Bless America”.
The flag will continue to fly outside the school building as a constant reminder of what our country stands for and the history of our struggle and resilience as a community.
Pictured in Photo from Left to Right: Briana Shirkey, Leo Colombi, Jenny Graham, and Luke Hoge cut stars to be placed on the school flag project.
St. Mary Junior High Students Welcome Visitors From Abroad
St. Mary Junior High students and teachers had the privilege of meeting and listening to a lecture and question and answer session with Mr. Peter Engle. Mr. Engle is a Middle School teacher in Bavaria, Germany. He teaches sixth grade social studies classes as well as English to sixth through twelfth graders. In addition to his teaching duties he is a member of Erasmus Plus. This organization of teachers wrote grant applications to the education council of the European Union. Upon receiving the grant for their schools, the teachers travel to other European countries in this organization to share best practices, innovative teaching methods, and other information that would enhance teaching and learning in their schools. In addition, they also travel to interesting sites, share in cultural exchanges, and partake in foods that are native to that country.
Every other trip each teacher brings along students from their schools. The students stay with host families in the school district they are visiting. In the morning they attend classes in the local school. The afternoons are spent traveling and having fun with their host families. Upon return home they connect with the places they have visited through distance learning experiences, emails, and social media. At times the students from the two countries will work on school projects together. Recently they worked on water conservation in the European Union. The students from these host families are then invited to stay with the families that visited them. The teachers and students have visited Finland, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, and England thus far. The grant is renewable every three years.
The students and teachers of St. Mary School listened and viewed a Power Point presentation in which Mr. Engle explained the Erasmus Plus program as well as what the school in Germany and Europe were like compared to our schools in the United States. It was an enriching experience for us all!
Mr. Engle’s daughter, Penelope, spent the day with the seventh grade classes. She said, “I like your school very much and enjoyed my time with you!” The Engle family is related to the Galeazzo Family who have Evan and Oliver at St. Mary School’s 7th grade.
Pictured in Photo: Mr. Peter Engle and his daughter Penelope with principal Mary Petelin