Thursday, May 26, 2016

Young American

Wesley had his 5th grade program today. The 5th grade always does a performance with a theme of Patriotism. Wes did a great job and the performance was wonderful. This time, as every time, my favorite part was when the children sang a medley that combined the songs of the branches of the military. Before they began, they asked that any one in the audience who served in the military to stand when their song is sung so we could honor them. It really brings tears to your eyes and makes your heart swell with appreciation. So that was my favorite part. My favorite part would have been when Wesley opened the assembly by doing a solo singing the national anthem, but unfortunately they had two students win the audition for that, and one did it for the parents performance (the girl) and Wesley did it for the students that was later in the day (I didn't find out what time). I would have gone back to see it but wasn't able to. Still, he had been singing it for us all morning and I knew he would do great, he really has a very good voice. He said during one of the practices he was nervous and his voice cracked, so I gave him a tip about focusing and he practiced a bit more and said he wasn't nervous when he sang and his voice didn't crack. I'm hoping his teacher got a recording of it, kinda kicking myself that I wasn't able to make it there. Love you Wes, I know you made me proud, and even without me seeing your big debut I know I would have cried!
Owen kept me company during the program. Look at that chubby little fist on my leg, love it!
So after the performance, they recognized kids who earned the Granite Grizzly Award - gold, silver, and bronze levels for that (lots of kids got that award, requirements included 16 things like having a "great attitude of learning" and being on time and turning in required reading, etc), and THEN the big award at the very end for the Young American! Wesley was the first person announced.
The Young American award is earned over the whole year by 5th graders who complete the following tasks - check this out:

  • Write the Pledge of Allegiance and define the important terms
  • Sing or say the National Anthem
  • Recite the preamble to the Constitution
  • Recite the Gettysburg Address
  • Recite the US Presidents in order
  • Label a map with all states and capitals
  • Recite/explain the main points of each ammendment in the Bill of Rights
  • Complete and essay or project about "Why I'm proud ot be an American" (one page essay or project approved by teacher, Wes did an essay)
  • Complete 5 hours of community service.

Isn't that impressive?!?! Ethan is the only other kid in our family that earned the Young American award. He said it was cause his teacher Mrs Holt told him he should get it ("she was really pushy" ha) Ethan encouraged Wesley to get it, and it also helped that his 3 best friends who live in our neighborhood were all working on it too. They did some of their community service together. 8 kids in the whole 5th grade got it, 4 of them are Wes and his friends Anna (red shirt at left), Tess (white shirt next to Wes) and Christopher (Red USA shirt).
Way to represent our little hood you good kids! Tess' little brother is going to be a young american some day too.
After the program and awards, it was outside for the 5th grade state float parade. In the years past Joseph was Connecticut, Mel and Ethan were too (although I apparently didn't document theirs, sorry kids) Hyrum was Mississippi, and now Wesley representing Hawaii!!
Something funny - Wes wanted Owen to be driving his float, but Owen fell asleep so Corey held him in the shade. Natalie then sat in the car for a bit, until she saw balloons on the float ahead of him and she wouldn't stay seated, so she had to go and luckily Sophi was willing to take the job of driver. Wes and Sophi waited inside for the parade to start. Then as they came out, Natalie yelled when she saw Sophi in driving... "Sophi! That's My car!!!" So Sophi sweetly got out and Natalie resumed the drivers seat. But then another float ahead of them was throwing candy to the crowd, and Natalie yelled for Wes to stop again cause she wanted to get out and get the candy. Natalie, we can't stop the parade for you! Corey took Natalie and Owen and went to wait in the car, I grabbed Sophi again and chased down Wes so he could have a driver in his car. Sophi finished out the parade with him, two laps around the school. Luckily it was not a hot day. Then I took Sophi and the "float" and we headed to the car, phew! We survived another school program. Good job parents, toddlers, and good job Wesley. He's all ready to head to Middle school next year, my kids just keep growing up! There's no stopping it, it's bittersweet. Glad I've got my baby and toddlers to keep all the cute the little moments happening around here as their older siblings keep moving up, but I know Natalie and Owen will soon be moving on to middle school too. Childhood comes with an expiration date. Enjoy it while it's here!
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