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Family Night celebrates Veteran’s Day, starts Book Fair

Family night at Pagosa Springs Elementary School was held in conjunction with Veterans Day. It was a real celebration of heroes: veterans, community and students.

The fall family night is held annually to support the Scholastic Book Fair featuring a special theme of “Here’s to Our Heroes, Reading Saves the Day!”

The keynote program was the American Legion Honor Guard that performed the flag folding ceremony, part of the funeral ceremony given as last honors at a funeral or memorial service for a fallen veteran. This ceremony is steeped in tradition and honor and was performed by veterans in uniform: Ernie Garcia, Warren Grams, Jim Huffman, Hal Lowe, Jesse Morehouse, Don Strait, Raymond Taylor, Roy Vega and Ron Willett. Taylor narrated and coordinated the presentation.

Dinner was served to more than 310 people and the Book Fair was open. Kiwanis members provided the staffing for the meal and included Chilly Fearon, Ron Gustafson, Amy Hodgkinn, Dan Howe, Mercedes Leist, J.B. Smith and Nick Tallent. Pauline Rivas, high school cafeteria staff, made the beefy macaroni meal.

The elementary choir, with 24 students, performed several patriotic songs and finished the evening with the rousing song “Reading Rocks!” The choir is directed by elementary school music teacher Lisa Hartley and was accompanied by Kathy Isberg.

Several members of the local sheriff, police and fire departments attended the event in uniform and interacted with students as our community heroes. Attendees included Sheriff Gonzalez, Police Chief Rockensock, Police Officer Capistrant, and volunteer firefighters Scott Carpenter and Sylvia Goossens.

Students displayed the hero within by making a variety of Thanksgiving crafts that will be donated to the elderly housing facilities to brighten their holiday tables. Elementary staff members coordinated this activity and included crafty Kathy Faber, Becca Blauert, Heidi Martinez, Bobbie and Garry Lassman, and Nancy Drake.

Principal Kate Lister and Librarian Debbie Mackey will be in the hero spirit for the duration of the Book Fair by donning Supergirl and Batgirl costumes, respectively, during school events and at every afternoon dismissal. It is reported that Principal Lister wore her costume to the school board meeting last week in an effort to publicize the event.

The elementary school has been hosting book fairs since 1982. Proceeds from book fairs are used for reading and educational improvements and to help fund the purchase of necessary unbudgeted supplies for the school.