Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Eastside Gearing Up for Veterans Day Program

Eastside Elementary School 4th Grade Students

Eastside Elementary School in Sallisaw is hard at work getting its students’ third annual Veterans Day program ready for the stage.

Rehearsals were in full swing Tuesday with 123 of the school’s fourth-graders preparing to debut their program, which will honor the men and women who have served in the United States military.

Eastside music teacher Traci Abell said having veterans in her family has instilled in her the drive to teach others about the importance of honoring the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans. “This is my way of honoring all veterans. Teaching kids about veterans is a lifelong lesson for (the students)” that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Area residents and veterans are invited to attend one of three performances the school has scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7. The performances will be at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Eastside Elementary gymnasium, 1206 E. Creek.

Abell said the school’s fourth-grade teachers and staff members worked tirelessly on the program’s script and helped students learn their lines since the beginning of the school year. “I am so thankful we have a good team” at Eastside, she said. The students also pitched in and spent hours each day in rehearsals.

“Overall,” Abell said, “this is a perfect way for kids to show off their talents and honor veterans at the same time.”

The performances include dancing, tumbling, singing and more, as well as a boy’s ensemble doing a black-light version of “God Bless the U.S.A.”

This is the third year Eastside has staged a Veterans Day program, Abell said, and each year nearly 100 veterans attend. Students are allowed to invite the veteran of their choice to attend, and tickets for the event are also available at Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion halls around the area.

“I know the kids will remember (this program) for the rest of their lives,” Abell said. “They really get it and it makes me very proud.”

Several of the show’s lead characters said in an interview that the program is to honor veterans because they fought for our freedoms.

“After all this work, we want this program to warm your hearts,” one student said. “I’m really glad veterans will come and will learn how we did this and how hard we worked,” another added.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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