Students get education on flag etiquette

ROUSES POINT - Students at Rouses Point Elementary wanted to know more about the American flag and how to care for it, so they received a lesson from some real experts.

On Jan. 15, veteran servicemembers from American Legion Post 912 visited with children enrolled in the school's chapter of K-Kids, a community service group for children through Kiwanis International. Fourth-grade teacher Susan Hutchins, who serves as the K-Kids group advisor, coordinated the visit after the children were asked to care for the school's American flag, which flies proudly in the school's front yard.

"I thought if we were going to do this, the kids needed to know how to properly fold it, put it out and know what it means," she said.

Hector A. Kaufman III, commander of American Legion Post 912, said he was honored to receive the call.

"When they told us they wanted us to show them how to fold the American flag, we had 10 volunteers who were ready to do it," he said.

Kaufman said he and his fellow post members took great pleasure in helping the more than 40 fourth- and fifth-grade students learn more about the flag and its care. The American Legion, he explained, takes great pride in its outreach to youths, instilling in them the importance of Americanism.

What made him proudest, he said, was the children were equally as excited for the veterans to be there.

"They were really interested," said Kaufman. "It means a lot to us to know they're interested."

"They were just dead-silent, listening and watching them explain how each fold of the flag means something," said Hutchins. "I think it was a really good experience for them."

The following week, the students began caring for their school's flag, doing "a great job," said Hutchins.

The visit was one of several Hutchins said she tries to coordinate with various individuals and groups in the community to teach the children strong moral character that will one day make them strong leaders.

"Hopefully, this will get them to be strong members in community as they get older and, in turn, help others in the community be productive members."

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