Soule School Gets New Flag

by Robyn Hatch

Brin presenting the flag and welcome presentation

This whole event started with an e-mail by Lucille Ramsey of Soule School to Senator Downing, asking if there was any way to get a replacement flag for the terrible one the school had been using for years.  This old flag was in extremely poor condition and Lucille and the school were desperate to get a better one to represent their school.  Without any notice or questions, Senator Downing showed up unannounced and presented Lucille with a brand new flag.  Because the school was so pleased with this outcome, they decided to put together a brief ceremony for him as a thank you.  The timeframe was less than two weeks to come up with this incredible presentation.

Alec Brunelle and Jake Fantasia were prepared to give Senator Downing a tour of the school if he arrived early, but due to traffic he arrived right at the given time.  The Soule DJ’s started their usual morning presentation for the school, only this time they were outside by the flagpole using the portable microphone.  Brooke Murphy, Alex Brunelle, and Kata Rippert were very professional after they had done a few practice dry runs.  Brin came to the platform next with her welcome and flag information speech.  Fourth graders then sang two songs for the senator:  Ode to New Hampshire and New Hampshire Naturally.  Several third graders came forward to present thank-you cards made personally for Senator Downing.  The Raising Flag Ceremony was performed by three second graders — Ana Peolchat, Adam Hailey, Erika Wright — who were actually raising the flag for their first time.  Even though the flags got tangled, they did an incredible job and the pride showed in their faces.  The crowd stood up and said the Pledge of Allegiance and the senator closed the day with some very kind words to the students.  You could tell that he was very moved by what just went on.  Ms. Parrill ended this event with a thank you to all.

Brin Harper stood out with her speech and it is important that all read what she wrote: “It is my honor as a Soule School Student Council member to share some information with you about the State Flag of New Hampshire.  Officially, our state flag was adopted in 1909.  The design on the flag has actually been used since 1784.  The State Seal of New Hampshire is centered on a field of deep blue.  It depicts the ship, the ‘Raleigh’ sailing near a large gray granite rock.  It also shows a bright yellow sun rising over the blue water.  This scene is surrounded by the words ‘SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE’.  Yellow laurel leaves with nine yellow stars surround the seal.  The nine stars represent New Hampshire becoming the ninth state in the United States in 1788.  The ship Raleigh is one of the first war ships to be built to fight the British during The Revolutionary War.  The ship was built in 1776 at our very own city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.”

These are some very important facts that we residents of New Hampshire should be aware of, and Brin did an excellent job of educating us.

Mr. Downing - saying a few kind words

First time trying to raise the flag (Ana Poolchat, Adam Hailey, Erike Wright)

America the Beautiful

Grandparents’ Day at Barron

by Robyn Hatch

Tom Faulkan - capturing moments

William T. Barron School invited their students’ grandparents or special someone to the ‘Grandparents’ Day’ activities at the school.  After a short welcome by Principal Anthony DiNardo, the grandparents and/or special guests were invited to join the children in their classrooms and also to share some breakfast in the cafeteria.  The schedule was spaced out from kindergarten to grade five.  Raffles were also sold by the PTA to help with school activities.  This is a day looked on by all as a great time to see what is going on in their children’s lives, and to also meet their teachers.  Thanks, Barron, for allowing the grandparents and/or special friends to be a big part of the students’ lives!

Alexandra Harless - reading to her Nana

Blessing of the Animals

by Robyn Hatch

aylor, 4, with her two best friends

On St. Francis Day, Saint David’s had the ‘Blessing of the Animals’.  Pastors Carolyn and Cyndi gave the mass inside the church, complete with children and animals.  After the conclusion of the mass, all went outside where the two pastors greeted everyone, talked to each pet, and proceeded to bless all.  There were many dog varieties, several different types of cats, a pretty ferret, and, new to this year, a blessing to a horse by way of cell phone.  This ceremony is taken seriously and Saint David’s does this with reverence.

Opening Prayer:  We thank you, most loving God, for the beauty and the diversity of all your creation.  We give you special thanks for our friends the animals, those who frolic in the seas, sail on the winds, and explore the face of the earth.  We thank you for these creatures who live alongside of us as our companions and friends, for their loyalty, love, trust, and who give us joy.  Create in us a spirit of humility and thanksgiving, recognizing that it is through your creation that you sustain and reveal yourself, and bind us all, plant, animal, and human together in you.  Amen.

Pastor Carolyn receives a kiss

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