Melrose Community Reading Day
I have only been in the Melrose community for a couple years now, but I always found myself on the sidelines as The Bridge, a non-profit that places volunteers in Melrose Public Schools, hosts Melrose Community Reading Day. This event pairs community figures with Melrose classrooms in order to share stories and a love of reading with Melrose students. I'd be lying if I said I was hunting for an invite.
I am honored to say on Thursday morning I will be reading "F is for Flag" to Lincoln Elementary first graders!
Our day-to-day activities involve assisting veterans with financial benefits and helping them apply for the hundreds of benefits available at the local, state and federal level. But I believe education is an important part of our mission. We partner with many local schools to provide veteran programming that honors our heroes and helps students understand what it means to be a veteran. Examples of these partnerships include the annual Veterans Day and Memorial Day assemblies, the Operation Trips and speaking engagements.
In the past year, I have spoken with Mayor Dolan at the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School about the concept of service, discussed Veterans Day and Memorial Day meanings with the students at the Lincoln Elementary School and helped the Wakefield Veterans Advisory Board revitalize the Veterans Day essay contest with students from Wakefield High School. Every Tuesday, I meet with the Operation Gettysburg Club weekly, amazed by Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School students who willingly give their free time to help plan a trip to Gettysburg for Melrose veterans. It's quite honestly the best part of my job and reminds me that our newest generations will one day honor and possibly serve in our nation's armed forces.
I chose the Lincoln Elementary School for community reading day because they annually honor our veteran holidays with assemblies that demonstrate the talent and high level of understanding of Melrose students. They make me proud to be a veteran.
"F is for Flag" is a simple ABC book describing what the U.S. flag stands for and why we spend so much time talking about the symbol. Our flag is more than a piece of fabric, it's a placeholder for all of the things that make America the greatest experiment in human history. I hope I am able to convey this idea.
What an honor to share this story with the next great Americans. Thanks for inviting me.