Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
3rd Graders Learn from Special Guests
Third graders in Mrs. Bittnerâ€™s class had the opportunity to learn from special guests, Colonel Randy Powell from the U.S. Army National Guard Reserves and Mayor Rick Becker of Mineral Springs.
In honor of Veteranâ€™s Day, Colonel Powell visited the classroom to share his experiences in the military with the students. He started by explaining that he had been assigned to the Pentagon after the attack on September 11, 2001. He went on to state that even a year later one could still smell the jet fuel when standing in the Pentagon. He let the students hold and look at a piece of the Pentagon from the section that was destroyed in the attack. He explained how a quarry was reopened just so granite for construction could be used that matched the rest of the building.
One student asked what his scariest mission was. He explained how he has been deployed to Iraq and was on a mission to check out the surrounding area. While doing this they were fired upon. The next morning he and his soldiers went to check the area and what they realized was their tire tracks showed that they had driven through an area full of land mines and they barely missed the mines.
One student asked him what countries he has been to. On a map Colonel Powel showed the students different areas of the world where he has been assigned. For example, he explained how he has worked with law enforcement in South Africa to develop techniques to catch and stop rhinoceros poaching.
Colonel Powell went over the meaning of each patch on his uniform. Someone asked why the American flag on his right sleeve was backwards. He explained that the blue and white stars on a flag always go first and that soldiers assume that there is a staff holding up the flag that is on their sleeve. Therefore, when a soldier is walking, the stars are facing forward.
Mayor Becker shared with the students the responsibilities of being a mayor in North Carolina and what part the Town Council plays in a town. He explained that although he or others may come up with an idea, the Town Council is responsible for accepting or rejecting the idea.
He let the students know how Mineral Springs has a greenway with trails. People can use these trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
Mayor Becker quizzed the students on what they thought the population was for both Mineral Springs and the United States.
He explained that voting is an important part of being a U.S. citizen. He added that people usually vote in presidential elections but often do not vote in non-presidential election years. He went on to say that voting in all elections is important.
The students were able to ask him a variety of questions. In addition to asking about the government, students wanted to learn about where he grew up and his family.
Written by: Jennifer Bittner, 3rd Grade Teacher
Posted: Nov 30, 2011 by Carrie Johnson