Freedom Week comes to I.J. Holton

Published 6:05 am Tuesday, November 5, 2019

By Michael Veldman

Sixth Grade Social Studies Teacher

On Monday, Nov. 11, through Friday, Nov. 15, fifth and sixth graders at I.J. Holton Intermediate School will participate in a week-long event entitled “Freedom Week.” This program celebrates its 18th anniversary following the events of 9/11.

Michael Veldman, Sixth Grade Social Studies Teacher

This educational opportunity brings community leaders, guest speakers and military personnel into the building throughout the week. Students hear firsthand accounts and powerful messages, centered on the freedoms rights, and privileges afforded to every American.

They also discover how veterans have made sacrifices and dedicated their time and lives to protect and keep those freedoms. The summative outcome for this week is to have students understand their responsibility when it comes to these freedoms as they live and grow within their school, their community and their nation.

The opening ceremony begins outside, where over 850 students, staff members, and community leaders, along with VFW Post 1216, American Legion Post 91 and DAV Chapter 27 assemble for the raising of the American flag. Girl and Boy Scout members will unfurl the flag as the military salute and civilians place their hands over their hearts. The sound of “Call to Colors” will be heard and shortly after, the unison voices of all will say the Pledge of Allegiance. Inside the gymnasium, students who have invited a veteran to share in the Austin Public School District’s free Veteran’s breakfast will introduce their guest. Superintendent David Krenz will be present to share his thoughts about this important community event.

This year we welcome Rollie Hanson, who will deliver a powerful presentation on flag etiquette and address the topic of POW and MIAs. Musical selections from band and choir students will round out the morning’s assembly.

Over the next couple of days, various speakers from the community will share their stories about serving our country. Social studies classes offer sixth graders an opportunity to enter our local VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. They will also deliver in-depth studies centered on our nation’s freedoms.

Lastly, Chris Lee, representing Hormel Military Veteran Engagement Team (HMVET), will be on hand to announce their committees essay winners.

The week provides a wonderful opportunity for students, as well as staff, to refresh their dedication and commitment to being a citizen of this great nation we call the United States of America.


Veteran’s Day Activities • Monday, Nov. 11

Southgate Elementary, 460-1300 — Breakfast served from 7:15 – 8 a.m. in the Southgate Cafeteria

Banfield Elementary, 460-1200 — Breakfast served starting at 7 a.m. in the Banfield Cafeteria

Neveln Elementary, 460-1600 — Breakfast served from 7:30 – 8:45 a.m. with an assembly from 8:45 – 9:15 a.m.

I.J. Holton Intermediate School, 460-1525 — Breakfast served from 7:15 – 7:55 a.m. with an assembly to follow

Ellis Middle School, 460-1500 — Breakfast served at 7:30 a.m. followed by an assembly

*Please call the school you wish to attend to be added to the breakfast count.

Ron Hanson helps I.J. Holton Intermediate School students Hunter Jensen, from left, Ngae Seh and Chloe Cannon raise the flag outside the school last year. It served as a kick-off for the school’s annual Freedom Week. Herald file photo