Remembrance Day a time to reflect, a time to shine for middle schoolers

Kal Russell, principal at North Saanich Middle School, has been involved with school Remebrance Day ceremonies for 18 years now, first in Agassiz and later at Stelly’s and Sidney Elementary. Marking the occasion means dealing with death and sacrifice: heavy topics for an elementary school student. However, Russell said there is a way to make the ceremony impactful for every grade level, while also letting students shine.

At 9:45 on Friday morning, the day before Remembrance Day, there will be a dance performance and the band will play. There is a reading, the laying of a wreath, the Last Post, and a guest speaker from CFB Esquimalt. Two students will also go to the Veteran’s Memorial Lodge at Broadmead to read letters written by students to the veterans who live there.

“It’s a combination of being respectful and highlighting and remembering those who serve but it’s also an opportunity to highlight some of our kids in a respectful environment.”

In elementary school, kids participate by reading aloud, and as students get older, musical and dance elements are sometimes introduced, depending on how comfortable students feel.

Russell said the federal government provides resources for schools on how to present these difficult topics. At North Saanich Middle School, vice-principal David Mark will read a speech that is tailored to middle school kids that is based on federal resources.

“He reads it because it’s serious and important and we want the kids to get the message and know that piece is really important.”

Russell’s own grandfather served in World War II, and in the past he has shared with his students a letter sent to his grandfather from a family in the Netherlands. He stayed with them during the war.

“I’m always amazed at how respectful our kids are and what a great job they do.”

Just Posted

Dozens rally outside Premiere’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Traffic logistics for Lansdowne Road closure

Public Works talks alternative routes for 2.5 month closure of major transportation artery

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Traffic logistics for Lansdowne Road closure

Public Works talks alternative routes for 2.5 month closure of major transportation artery

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Most Read