Wingo Elementary School students learn about, celebrate military veterans – especially some they know personally

Wingo Elementary School got a jump on the rest of America, by starting their Veterans Day 2018 celebration almost a week early. 

“This week we are honoring our veterans, we are taking one day each this week to honor each branch of the military. Monday is army day, Tuesday is navy day, and so on,” explained Wingo Elementary School principal Scott Bradley on Nov. 5. “Next Monday (Nov. 12 at 9 a.m.) will be our Veterans Day program.”

The principal continued, “We have a couple of displays set up already. Students can come through and look at the uniforms of each branch of the military. Our PTO president, Heather Totty, put the uniforms display together. We also have a veterans’ wall, that (teaching assistant) Tracy Pollock and several students put together. They took pictures of veterans, interviewed them, and put the display they made on the wall.”

Interviewing and other personal connections are bringing the stories of U.S. military veterans directly home to many Wingo students.

Third-grader Vin Lowry said, “I interviewed my dad and Jim Melton. My dad was in the military for four years and Jim Melton was in the air force for about three years. Jim is a friend of my dad’s. He is like my family. Jim cleaned out the airplanes. He helped with the snakes, because snakes kept getting into the airplane…. I am just glad my dad and Jim survived.” 

Sixth-grader Ava Baker added, “My uncle was in the army, so we did a survey with him… just asking him different questions about what he had done in the army. We then made a report on it, and put it on a poster board. Every veteran then had their own board of recognition of what they have done and what awards they have been given.”

She concluded, “Every one of my classmates thinks that this is very cool. They are just fascinated to read all the stories and how these relatives went through the army and moved forward afterward.  It has actually inspired a few of my classmates to want to fight for our country.”
“I wanted these students to tell stories of what they’ve learned,” said principal Bradley, a former Graves County High School history teacher. “Personal connections are an excellent way to bring history home to people because they make history personal and real to them. I’m proud of these students for their great work and genuine interest in the history they’ve encountered.” 

(photo caption)
Wingo Elementary School sixth-grader Ava Baker and third-grader Vin Lowry examine U.S. military uniforms, flags, and other memorabilia on display in their school’s library. They said they and their fellow students are excited about Veterans Day 2018 because of a special project at their school. Principal Scott Bradley, a former Graves County High School history teacher, encouraged teachers, students, and entire classes to conduct interviews of relatives and others who remember the military service they or their loved ones completed. Various adults in the school helped develop extensive displays, especially in the school library. The project will culminate with the school’s formal Veterans Day celebration at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12. 
(photo by Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools)

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