Students Learn About Patriotism With Personal American Flag

Powhatan Elementary first
grade students stand with their new flags. On the front row (from left) are
Alayna Murph, Rylan Whitley, Xavier Wheeler, and Mason Pennington. On the second
row are Anala Temple, Jordan Richardson, Drew Cortez, Reid McCallister, Hannah
Hamilton, Jada Cooke, and Kellan Caldwell. On the third row are Carter Holder,
Chance Washington, John Shrader, Bishop Barr, Summer Lee, Jaelyn Tomlinson, and
Skylar Maungyoo. On the fourth row are teacher Christie Thompson, Veteran Chuck
Methot, and Principal Dan Kerwin.

More than 2,500 first grade students in Johnston County received a lesson on patriotism after receiving their own American Flag on Friday. Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow said Johnston County Public Schools is proud to honor veterans in word and deed in observance of Memorial Day.

“It is our duty and privilege to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in service to our country,” said Renfrow.

Teachers in all 23 elementary schools passed out flags to 2,585 first graders, and some schools were visited by special guests.

Chuck Methot, a veteran and a member of the 40 & 8 veteran organization, helped pass out flags at Powhatan Elementary School in Christie Thompson’s class along with Principal Dan Kerwin. Veteran Methot shared his knowledge of the flag and helped students answer questions.

Powhatan Elementary first grade student Jaelyn
Tomlinson excitedly waives her American Flag after receiving it in honor of
Memorial Day.

Following his presentation Methot was asked “How are you so smart?” by a first grader. Methot replied, “I served in the military for 31 years.”

The 40 & 8 veteran organization, a group with a long history of partnering with the district, plans to help JCPS continue this endeavor. During the 2017-2018 school year, members of the 40 & 8 will visit first grade classrooms throughout the county, present individual American Flags to each student, and teach a brief lesson on the flag as a part of the National Flags for First Graders Program.