Recess for some Howard Elementary School students has turned into a time to tune up their vocal cords.
The Howard Harmonics, the school’s newest club, is a group of about a dozen third- to fifth-graders who sing on their free time.
It’s led by music teacher Kirsten Betts, and this week, the club began to practice two patriotic songs for the Bald Eagle Area School District’s Veterans Day program that will be held on Veterans Day, Principal Skip Pighetti said.
As a way of thanking them for their service, the district is inviting local veterans to each school for lunch and a ceremony.
“The kids are in school on Veterans Day, so we wanted to use it as an educational tool for them to learn about Veterans Day, and at the same time honor our veterans,” district spokeswoman Rose Hoover said.
Pighetti said teachers at Howard will cater their day around Veterans Day in a way the students can absorb its meaning.
During the 10:30 a.m. luncheon, students will perform “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” in addition to the two songs the Howard Harmonics will sing.
The students will also be able to sit and eat lunch with the veterans, Pighetti said. “It’s a perfect way to get them to be interactive with our local veterans.”
Other schools have a similar schedule.
Mountaintop Area Elementary School Principal Mary Beth Crago said her school is still in the planning process of a special Veterans Day celebration, but students are being encouraged to dress in red, white and blue.
Port Matilda Elementary School students are learning patriotic songs in music class to perform for the veterans and are busy sketching flags and other patriotic drawings to hang in the hallways, Principal Terri Kenny said.
“Since school is scheduled that day, we’re doing an allegiance to the armed forces,” Kenny said. “It’s all about the veterans and those who fight for us.”
At the high school gymnasium, there will be a combined assembly with the high school, middle school and Wingate Elementary that will include a guest speaker and performance by the band, Hoover said.
“We want to show our appreciation for all they do and all they did,” Hoover said. “This is just our way of showing our thanks.”
The lunch will include baked chicken and mashed potatoes. Veterans are asked to RSVP to their local school before Oct. 30.