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Pow wow exposes children to Native American cultures of old

Steven Buhler demonstrates the The Baker County High School History Club delivered lessons in Native American culture to classes at the PreK-Kindergarten Center the morning of November 20 by putting on a pow wow that featured teepees, music, dancing and traditional Indian garb.

Students learned how Indians lived in teepees and kept warm using animal furs, among other customs. 

The annual program has been brought to local elementary schools in previous years, too, said club advisor Mark Hartley.

WES tributes veterans with songs, poems

Westside Elementary School students sing patriotic songs.A throng of students at Westside Elementary paid tribute to veterans with a host of songs and poems performed under blue skies and sunshine on the Glen St. Mary campus the morning and afternoon of November 9.

Dozens of people, some of them veterans, gathered at the school to watch the performances, one at 10 am and another at 1 pm, and both led by Westside faculty.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office presented colors to begin the 30-minute program.

Vets praise MES students for patriotic program

Students Noah Ray, Ian Doyle, Trey Dugger, Connor Altman, Colby Hapgood and Easton Stevens recreate the iconic image of US Marines planting a flag after the Battle of Iwo Jima.Second and third graders at Macclenny Elementary saluted veterans with a 45-minute program the morning of November 9 featuring patriotic songs and re-enactments of iconic moments in American history.

The event was a first for Dwayne Norman, one of many current and retired service men and women in the audience.

The medically retired Navy veteran’s daughter attends the north Macclenny school. “It was a great program,” said Mr. Norman. “It meant a lot to me and a lot of other people; more than words can say.”

Third graders packed the stage and flanked both sides, occasionally mounting a stage set up in front of the crowd to perform historic scenes like the Marines raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Second graders, meanwhile, sat with the audience and helped sing along to tunes, including God Bless America by Lee Greenwood, the show’s finale.

“I always teach the second graders the music, because it makes the sound fill the room, but I cannot fit that many kids on the stage,” said Macclenny Elementary music teacher Kinita Bishop, who orchestrated the program. “It gives them something to look forward to next year.”

Also in the audience was Clay Green of Macclenny, who’s spent the last 19 years in the Air Force and visits the school each year for the veterans program.

He said this year’s show — with students acting out scenes that also included first responders on 9-11 and the Fallen Soldier combat memorial — was “the greatest one yet.”

“It was awesome,” he said while holding his 4-year-old daughter Carlie in his arms.

After he and other vets in the cafeteria were asked to stand in recognition, the students, led by Tiffany Thomas, not only sang the words to You Are Our Heroes, they signed them, too.

“The students practiced singing and memorizing music in music class only, which is 25 minutes every six school days,” explained Ms. Bishop, who tutors students in other subjects as well.

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Pre-K Center drums up interest in box tops with decorating contest

Sandy Rourke, winner of the box tops box decorating contest at the PreK Center where her daughter, Kayla (pictured), attends.The winner for best all-around box in the Pre-K/Kindergarten Center’s box top container decorating contest was that made by Sandy Rourke of Maclenny, pictured at left with her Hello Kitty-theme box and daughter Kayla Rourke, 5, a student in Stephanie Combs’ pre-K class.

The box tops on many popular grocery store products can be redeemed for cash and school supplies through a number of different programs. They’re being collected by classes and schools throughout the district.

The Pre-K/Kindergarten Center held a box top box decorating contest to build enthusiasm for the drive this year. The box deemed to have the most spirit came from Catina Jones’ pre-K class and the one recognized as the most creative from Jalinda Owens’ pre-K class.

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