A variety of events and activities took place at Frisco ISD campuses in advance of Patriot Day and Texas First Responders Day on Saturday, Sept. 11, and several more are planned Sept. 13-17 for Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week.
From moments of silence to classroom or advisory lessons, students will remember those who died in the terrorist attacks, honor first responders who serve others and learn about the ideals on which the United States was founded.
Students at Corbell Elementary entered the building Friday morning wearing red, white and blue alongside several officers from the Frisco Police Department who were invited as special guests. In honor of Patriot Day and Texas First Responders Day, Frisco Police rotated through all of the classrooms to read to the students, while also providing time for the students to ask questions.
Corbell librarian Sarah Powell had books readily available for the officers at the entrance when they walked in.
“We are honored to be invited and thankful for the opportunity to engage with students in a way that shows we are real people who want to protect them,” said Deputy Chief Mike Hagan. “Through visits like these, we break down barriers and allow students to engage with us without fear, on their home turf.
“With the kindergartners, we encourage them to memorize their address, while the older students want to learn more about how we got into this career and how often we catch bad guys.”
Before getting the day started, Corbell Principal Gene Yarrobino addressed the campus over the announcements to explain the importance of Patriot Day, a national day of remembrance honoring the memory of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001. He also explained that, in Texas, First Responders Day recognizes the bravery, courage and determination of those who assist others in emergencies.
All campuses across Frisco ISD held a moment of silence and encouraged students to honor the individuals who lost their lives 20 years ago. Students were also called to remember the heroes who courageously worked to save the lives of others, and those who were left behind.
Kindergarteners in Shanon Horak’s classroom dawned Patriot Day hats, colored Patriot Day books and eagerly sat in their squares to listen to Officer Jeremy Turner read a book.
They asked several questions that were both on and off topic and laughed over their shared love of delicious breakfast foods.
“You can all be police officers,” Officer Turner said. “Just like in the book we read, it’s important not to give up.”
Mrs. Horak agreed and quickly explained that the class had recently been talking about the character trait called “grit” and the importance of not giving up. Several students smiled, nodded and repeated the word “grit” while looking back at Officer Turner.
Meanwhile across the campus, students in Kristin Dumar’s third grade class were visited by Sergeant Lee Holland who has worked in law enforcement for more than 15 years.
“It’s times like these when we can build bonds with children to make sure they feel comfortable,” Sergeant Holland said. “We want to develop a trusting relationship with them and show them that we are normal people who work hard every day to protect them.”
The officers were open and honest with students, covering topics of everything from their families to the fact that they are real people and not fearless.
“As officers, we are there for people in their greatest time of need,” Officer Dustin Crouch explained to Tasha Stone’s fifth grade students. “There’s no bravery without fear, but we summon up the courage and do what we do because it is important to protect our community.”
Every year, schools across Texas and Frisco ISD honor Celebrate Freedom Week Sept. 13-17 and Constitution Day on Sept. 17. Schools highlight the values and ideals on which the United States was founded as well as the sacrifices that were made for freedom in the founding of the country.
During this week, 3rd-5th grade students learn about the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. Students will also examine the relationship between the ideas in these documents and subsequent American history.
Learn more about Celebrate Freedom Week and Constitution Day.