Kids Serve Tea to Those Who Served

Students at the primary school held a special tea celebration to honor and recognize veterans.

More than two dozen little kids gave veterans big thanks on Friday afternoon at , where a commemorative assembly is held each year on Veterans’ Day.

The assembly is called the Veterans’ Tea, and it’s a CVPS tradition as old as the school itself. Hosted by a partnership of first- and second-grade teachers, it has been an annual event since the 1996 launch of the CVPS building.

The first Veterans’ Tea came about at the design of second-grade teachers Suzanne Schweikert and Sandy (Sheldon) Hallett, who were subsequently joined in their efforts by first-grade teacher Patricia Conley.

Though Hallett retired three years ago, she still attends the yearly celebration, which Schweikert described as an event to honor veterans and promulgate civic-minded ideals while allowing students to showcase some of the skills they work on in the classroom.

Public speaking, choral reading and singing were some of the classroom skills students demonstrated at Friday’s tea.

After marching into the school’s LGI room, with flags proudly waving, the students went on to deliver several heart-warming performances for the 17 veterans and numerous other family members who were in attendance.

The youngsters sang patriotic songs, including Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” which they also recited in unison as part of their choral reading presentation.

Following the group choral reading, the second-graders performed choral reading duets, together chanting words from the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Regan and Maya Angelou.

As the children sang and read, men of diverse ages, from various branches of the military, who fought in different wars, were moved to both smiles and tears.

These men were the fathers or grandfathers of some of the children who performed, and each was introduced at the close of the recital and presented with a laminated placemat that featured a thank you letter signed by all of the students.

In addition to the letters on the placemats, students paid other written tribute to our nation’s veterans as they continued to hone their composition and penmanship skills. The bulletin board in the LGI room was decorated with essays the kids had written prior to the event on themes such as “A vet is someone who…,” “Vets are our heroes because…” and “We honor vets because…”

An integral part of the Veterans’ Tea was the tea itself. Tea, coffee and punch were served up alongside multiple trays of cookies and sweet treats, all of which were donated by the parents of participating students.

Conley said that this year’s turnout was one of the largest in the history of the event and that she looks forward to seeing it expand even more in the future.

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