Friday, June 22, 2012
By ABBY SLANKER
Families and friends of Hilltop Elementary School third-graders were greeted by a sidewalk lined with American flags as they entered the school for the 26th annual Famous Americans program May 31.
Each third-grader was dressed in a costume to portray a famous American figure of their choice. The students researched their choice, wrote a speech about him or her, created a costume to wear during the program and completed a classroom project on their famous American.
The students chose a variety of famous Americans, from presidents to astronauts, from sports figures to authors, and from actors and actresses to scientists.
Examples of the famous Americans chosen included Sacajawea, Charles M. Schultz, Helen Keller, Sojourner Truth, Michael Jackson, Clara Barton, J.F.K., Molly Brown, George Gershwin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Elizabeth Maria Tallchief, Daniel Boone, Martha Washington and Harriet Tubman.
To start the show, the Parade of Flags was presented. As a carrier and a guard escorted the flag down the aisle, a narrator gave the history of each flag. Flags presented included Continental, Gadsden, Grand Union, Betsy Ross, St. George’s Cross, King’s Colors, British Red Ensign, Bennington, Star Spangled Banner, Perry’s Flag, Alamo 1824, Bunker Hill, Rhode Island Regiment, Fort Moultrie, Stars and Bars, Confederate Battle, “48 Star” and Old Glory.
By class, each student took his or her turn at the microphone to give the speech written identifying his or her famous American as if the famous American were speaking.
After each class had finished with their speeches, the students joined together to sing, led by music teacher Tom Scurich and accompanied by Roni Sue Gregory. Songs included “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Sing a Song of Peace,” “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” “Fifty, Nifty United States,” “Armed Forces Salute,” “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”
During “Armed Forces Salute,” Scurich asked members and vets of the armed forces to stand when their anthem was sung.
“I would like to welcome everyone to our Famous Americans program. I would like to extend a special welcome to all the veterans in the audience. Our next selection is a special one and I invite any veterans to stand when the anthem that represents your branch is sung,” Scurich said.
Before each anthem was performed, students presented the POW-MIA flag, Army flag, Coast Guard flag, Marine flag, Air Force flag and Navy flag.
The third-graders also paid tribute to retiring Hilltop fourth-grade teacher Kay Abel and retiring Canfield Local Schools superintendent Dante Zambrini.