The community, especially veterans, and all parents are invited to attend a special Veterans Day Program at Pine Island Elementary School on Friday featuring patriotic music, readings from the students and a special sign language performance.
PIE 2nd grade teacher Monica Renz said although she has been teaching at the school for 12 years, the Veterans Day Program had been held for many years before she started.
The event, she said, is held to provide an opportunity for the kids to give back to the island because the community does so much for the school, as well as giving back to the veterans who live on the island..
Pine Island Elementary students participate in last year’s Veterans Day program.
The event, Renz said, includes four 5th grade student ambassadors. She said the students - David Bollen, Matthew Frazier, Savahna Flint and Savanna Jendrusiak - were chosen by teachers to represent the school.
Bollen said he is honored that Pine Island Elementary chose him.
"My great-grandfather was in World War II, so this really means a lot to me," he said.
Frazier is also excited to be an ambassador for the event.
"My grandpa was in the Army," he said. "I am happy that I get to be a part of this."
The duty of being a student ambassador has been something that Flint has wanted to do for sometime now.
"I always watched the fifth graders doing it in years past," she said. "My grandpa is a World War II veteran."
Jendrusiak is also excited for the ceremony this week.
"I am so excited to do this for my school," she said. "I am excited to be a part of something so special."
As student ambassadors they will have the opportunity to welcome the veterans to the event, escort them to the program and have lunch with them on the stage in the cafeteria.
Renz said there will be tea for the veterans in the morning before the program begins.
The Veterans Day Program will also include a flag ceremony by the Boy Scouts and songs sung by the youngsters, which includes a special sign language song performed by the 2nd grade students. Fourth grade students will also present two writing pieces during the ceremony. Principal Robert Mazzoli will also provide a message for those in attendance.
Renz said the guest speaker for the event will be Paul Birdwell, who is the commander of the Pine Island VFW Post 4353.
In addition, she said the veterans will introduce themselves during the ceremony and share what years they served and where they served.
Last year, she said they had more than 30 veterans attend the program, which was one of their best turnouts.
"It was really a great program," Renz said, adding that she has received a lot of positive feedback from the community.