Nathan was so excited for fifth! He watched Liz perform in Hope of America and complete the Great American Fifth Grade Challenge and he couldn't wait to get started, in fact he memorized the Gettysburg Address over the summer so he would be ready on the first day of school!
I think fifth grade is an amazing year. I love their focus on American History, and at our school we have one particular teacher whose passion is history. He really emphasizes the importance of our nation and the principles upon which it was built. Nathan has loved it all. He loved reading The Killer Angels (about the battle of Gettysburg) and talking about it with his teacher. Another day Nathan was telling us specifics about a battle from the Civil War. I had never heard about it and later Brian and I looked it up online. I don't know why , but we were a little surprised at the many minute details that Nathan remembered.
Here is one video from Hope of America. The program was just the same as last year when Liz performed. This is still one of my favorite parts though. Nathan is in the yellow section just to the right of the flag.
Here are the kids reciting the Gettysburg Address at the Great American Fifth Grade Challenge award ceremony. It makes me a little teary every time. They also recited the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and all of the U.S. Presidents. Additionally, to earn the award they had to label a map of states, capitals, and oceans, sing or say the Star Spangled Banner and write the Pledge of Allegiance.
This year the Fifth grade had a celebration for the parents in the evening. They sang some songs from Hope of America and had a slide show presentation with pictures of the neat things they have done this year, including their big America History days of activities. I wasn't even going to take a camera since I had video and pictures of it all already. But that was too much against my nature, so I took them. I am so glad I did, because they sang this song, a song that Nathan's teacher stumbled upon and taught the kids. The musician ended up coming to talk to the fifth grade, gave them each a CD and sang a few more songs. There were lots of tears from many of the parents. It was so touching.
I am so grateful for the reminder that we truly are blessed to live in America. Our country certainly isn't perfect, but we enjoy so many freedoms and opportunities because so many sacrificed so much to keep our nation strong.