New curriculum lets students connect with veterans

Hometown Heroes, newly revised and updated, is a school curriculum with the major goal to collect photos and stories of those veterans whose names are on The Wall and those who returned home from the Vietnam War. The Hometown Heroes Service Learning project will be available for teachers and students nationwide. Students will hometownheroes1have an opportunity to learn about local veterans who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War, as well as other military conflicts in our nation’s history. They will hear personal stories from veterans and their loved ones; and they will have an opportunity to plan a commemoration to honor their Hometown Heroes. Through this project, history will be given a human face.  The Hometown Heroes Service Learning Project includes four (4) major lesson plans.

*Lesson plans align with Common Core Standards Initiative, including the College and Career readiness Standards (CCRA) and the National Learning Standards.

This past year, approximately 50 teachers from across the nation participated in the Hometown Heroes pilot, where they put the program curriculum to the test. Students and teachers collaborated with local veterans to collect, preserve and commemorate those who served our nation.

Here is a little excerpt from Andrew Demko, Social Studies Teacher at Rainier Jr./Sr. High School, who participated in the pilot.

“During the 2013-2014 school year, the Rainier Junior/Senior High School History Club had the opportunity to work with the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund, Hometown Heroes Program, utilizing their lesson Plan A – Remembering Those Who Have Served.Demko photo 11 Through this amazing opportunity, the students in the History Club had the opportunity to study and explore those who served in the Vietnam War from the local area, building collaboration, understanding and knowledge of this historic time period.

Once the Club started working on their selected lesson plan, they began to make connections with local veterans of the Vietnam War. This led them to Mr. Jim Owen who served in the United States Army. Mr. Owen graciously gave his time not only to his country, but to the History Club and came in to talk about his time in service and its meaning to him and to his country. Students were given the chance to ask questions which prompted further discussion, thought and realization, while gaining insight into who the men and women were who served their country.

At the conclusion of the school year, the History Club held a Veteran’s Ceremony. They invited area veterans not only from the Vietnam era, but from all times of service as well, where they were honored for their dedication and commitment to the country. Mr. David Placido, a Rainier high school student, History ClubDemko photo 17 student and 2012-2013 National History Club student of the year from the Rainier chapter, gave a speech honoring veterans, both past and present, their service to the country, and what their service means to him. Both of David’s parents were speakers at the ceremony, and both have served in the Coast Guard, providing David with first-hand experience on the sacrifices and dedication of service members.”

Beginning on June 25th, download our newest education curriculum here.