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Proud to be Americans

Molly Shore

Devin Rhodriquez felt special Friday. The Miller Elementary School

student was chosen as Peace Builder of the month from Kim Allender’s

fifth-grade class.


“Being a Peace Builder is like being a regular kid,” said Devin,

9. “But it means being friendlier.”

Because Devin is new to Miller, being selected the first Peace

Builder of the school year from her class had special meaning to her.


Devin joined the rest of the student body at Friday’s flag

ceremony on Miller’s quad.

A student in each class was selected to be a flag monitor, and

together they marched to the center of the quad, where they stood at

attention proudly holding their flags high while everyone said the

Pledge of Allegiance and sang “God Bless America.”

Christiene Guiting, a 10-year-old in Jim Czerwinski’s fifth-grade

class, was a flag monitor.


“I think I was chosen because I’m helpful,” she said.

Allender said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have emphasized to

children the importance of patriotism, what the country stands for,

and American heroes. The monthly flag ceremony, which includes the

singing of patriotic songs, helps to reinforce those ideals.

“We found we can’t assume the kids are automatically learning

[patriotic] songs unless we teach them at school,” he said.

The school’s Peace Builder program is incorporated into the flag


ceremony. All students who are selected as Peace Builders for the

month have their photos displayed on campus.

Friday’s ceremony ended with a loud and enthusiastic rendition of

the Peace Builders song.

“It’s just the same thing as the Peace Builders pledge, but it has

a rhythm to it,” fourth-grader Elizabeth de Caro said.

Elizabeth, 9, stood with her arms outstretched, her body swaying

as she belted out the words to the song.

“I love to sing, and I’m really into dancing, too,” she said.