Flag Day was celebrated two days early Friday by second- and third-grade students from Encino Elementary School, with help from the Encino Lions Club.
Students waved flags in time to "America the Beautiful" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" while Lions Club member Heidi Escalante gave a presentation on Old Glory's history.
"The flag is a source of strength and perseverance. It's a symbol of freedom and of the capacity to dream," she told the audience of about 200 students. The children exclaimed as Escalante showed them a 99-year-old copy of Jacob Riis' book about citizenship, "The Making of an American."
She also asked each student to create a drawing of what the American flag means to them.
After judging content and originality, she and other Lions Club members selected 10 winners. Each received a mug and--of course--a flag.
"I'm excited and embarrassed," Yazmin Hernandez, 8, said. She had drawn herself, waving at the flag.
"This presentation helps children understand what it means to be a good citizen," Principal John Hall said. "Plus, they get to practice saying the Pledge of Allegiance."