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November 09, 2017 05:16 PM

Engraving Patriotism Into Middle School Students

With Veterans Day around the corner, a local middle school is teaching kids about patriotism while working with wood.

Middle schoolers and power tools. It may not sound like a safe combination to some, but these kids are learning a lot more than how to handle a table saw.

"The flag symbolizes freedom for me," said Peyton Gravett, 8th grader. 

"How grateful I am to live in America. The best place in the world," said Nick Swatloski, 8th grader. 

These are lessons learned all while working in a wood shop. Dawn Bonham's eighth grade class is making American flags out of lumber.

"I actually built one of these this summer. I had some extra boards and I thought I'd put one together and see how it works," said Bonham. 

"I saw one of her flags that she had been working on and she was like, 'Ah it's nothing big' and I was like, 'Wow that actually looks really cool'. I asked her if we could do that and she said yes," said Swatloski. 

The project just happened to fall on the week of Veterans Day. For many kids, this is a chance to learn about American history, and how to craft something special to give to others or display in their rooms.

"We got to paint all the boards, cut them up, and lazer engrave the stars and I even got to do a quote," said Swatloski. 

"When you walk around and see the quotes that they have asked to be put on them, they're putting a lot of thought into what the flag means and what it means to them," said Bonham. 

"Now the Lord is the spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom," said Swatloski. 

Bonham hopes her students take these feelings of pride and patriotism with them home.

"Making the American flag out of wood and it's just a real experience for me and all of my other classmates," said Gravett. 

While several kids wanted to keep the flags for themselves, a few did say they'd be giving them to family members who served in the armed forces.


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