• 63°

Bostian Elementary celebrates veterans with songs, refreshments and painted rocks

CHINA GROVE — First-grade students at Bostian Elementary School filled the media center with patriotic songs Wednesday morning as they serenaded a crowd of local veterans.

It was one of several service projects at the school as part of Bostian’s plan for “renewal” — a districtwide initiative that will give individual schools more flexibility — said Principal Lisa Signmon.

For example, the fifth-graders will create “thank you bags” for local police officers and firefighters. Fourth-graders have started a “kindness revolution” project. Kindergartners will travel to the post office and send letters.

The projects, Signmon said, allow teachers to tie real-world experiences to lessons instead of relying only on what’s in a textbook.

On Wednesday, the first-graders put on a miniature play, sang songs, served cookies and drinks to veterans, and presented them with painted rocks.

First-grader Tensley Helms said she learned about different types of rocks leading up to the presentation, which her great-grandparents, Don and Frances Hegler, attended. Don is an Army veteran.

“We learned about sedimentary, metamorphic and all of that stuff,” Helms said.

First-grade teacher Emily Hinson said lessons also included talking about what exactly a veteran is. Hinson said that honoring those who served shouldn’t be limited to Veterans Day and that it’s important for students to learn about history. It’s important for students to show kindness toward local veterans, too.

“There’s just so much bad in the world, and today we wanted to do something positive,” Hinson said.

Tensley said she enjoyed the miniature play best of Wednesday’s events and that she decorated her rock with a star and the words “Thank you.”

“I enjoyed it because I know that we were going to honor the veterans,” she said.

And it was clear veterans in attendance, several of whom were family members of the student performers, appreciated it, too.

James Bostian, who served in the Navy as a radioman for a fuel ship during the Vietnam era, welled up with emotion as the students sang. Bostian said afterward that it was an entirely different reception from what he received when returning to the U.S. in 1972.

Bostian said he did not physically serve in Vietnam but was associated with the war and treated poorly following his return.

“It’s night and day between now and then. This really means a lot,” he said. “It makes you feel good that people today thank you for your service.”

Earl Atwell, who flew B-52 bombers in the Air Force, echoed Bostian’s sentiments, saying Wednesday’s presentation “makes you feel good. It makes you feel appreciated.”

Contact editor Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4248.



Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time


GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending


Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem


Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes


Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title


Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game


County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money


Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury


At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’


COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary


More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot


City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year


Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots


Quotes of the week


Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days


Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site


City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide


City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras