Saturday, December 02, 2023

Elementary students learn veterans through military hats

Staff Writer | November 16, 2023 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — With Veterans Day on the horizon, area elementary students learned about the military services through a show-and-tell guest. 

With a bin full of military uniforms and hats Teresa Rae, Army veteran and Boundary County School District trustee, visited the elementary classes displaying uniforms and different military hats she and her husband, Brian Rae, wore during their service. 

Students were excited when Rae and their teachers modeled the military uniforms and explained when, where and how the regalia is worn. 

In Amanda Stolley’s second-grade class, students learned about the different styles of camouflage and which terrains they are used for. 

Some of the outfits and hats included Rae’s West Point Cadet’s uniform and marching band uniform, a beret, camouflage hats and a pilot helmet. 

Stolley said the students were interested and engaged throughout the entire presentation. 

“They were so excited about the hand signals for helicopter pilots to land and take off and discussed the different branches of the military after the presentation,” she said. 

When it comes to the educational value of the presentation, Stolley said having someone from the community come in and talk with the class is always special.

“It was amazing to see hands-on examples of military uniforms and speak to someone who served in the military,” she said. 

Rae has done the hat presentation for about six years and visits different classes and grades every year between the three elementary schools. 

She said she started the military hat presentation because it is age-appropriate for young students and gets them thinking about veterans around Veterans Day. 

“Also, the students like seeing their teachers wearing hats,” she said. 

At the end of the presentation, classes will learn to stand at attention and salute or the hand signals to land a helicopter. 

Students in Stolley’s class burned off the jitters as they imagined they were directing a Chinook helicopter. 

At the end of every presentation, students practice thanking veterans for their service.  

The students were not able to wear the hats due to the danger of spreading lice, but teachers happily modeled the hats for the giggling students. 

Rae also visited Mt. Hall and Naples Elementary schools Thursday. 

After the military hats presentation, students directing a helicopter during landing.

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