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Summit Elementary changes Veterans Day celebrations due to COVID-19

Posted at 7:21 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 09:51:11-05

JEROME, Idaho — Although the coronavirus continues to affect our daily lives, those at Summit Elementary
School in Jerome still made sure to teach its kids about Veterans Day, even if it wasn't how they typically do it. Normally the school hosts concerts for parents and veterans to honor those who have served our country.

"As a music teacher, I usually have the students learn songs. Then last year, we did 13 concerts every half hour through the day by the flagpole," says Penni Aufderheide, a Summit Elementary teacher and VFW member.

"Last year where they sat right here and did a concert. It was really neat to see that and to be able to come be a part of that," added Jerome VFW Post Commander and veteran Eric Bolich.

Due to CDC guidelines, the school found it best not to host a series of concerts where the public could come and go as they please. Instead, they found an alternative option they felt was safest: an interactive walk.

Banners with QR codes were placed along the school's fencing, giving kids a chance to scan the codes and learn about the military's separate branches. Classes were split up in 15-minute intervals to ensure social distancing.

"So they start here, and they listen to the recording, and then they move to the next station, and that branch's music comes on with that QR code. The students are learning about music, but they're also learning about the branches of the military," said Aufderheide.

By highlighting the different branches of the military, kids could grasp more about how our defense system works.

"Being able to see what these different branches do and what their role is in paving the way for this country's freedom. I think it's key and important for kids to grow up knowing and having that knowledge to be able to understand where this country came from and how it got to where it is," said Bolich.

While it wasn't what the school usually does, they were just glad to have an educational event for the kids.

"I knew I was going to do something, but I wanted it to be more involved. So this feels amazing, I know it's cold out here, but it's ok," said Aufderheide.