U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has announced the fifth year of West Virginia's Take a Veteran to School Day program, which was created to link veterans and students in schools throughout the state and capture and preserve veterans' real-life experiences.
"Paying tribute to the veterans who sacrificed so much for our country is so important and the Take a Veteran to School Day program is one great way to show our support and love for veterans. By asking veterans to share their stories with students across West Virginia, we are showing the next generation how much we value the contributions of the men and women who served in our armed forces," said Rockefeller. "These stories are also recorded and archived, so generations to come can hear first-hand about the lives of the veterans who fought for our freedoms. As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of this successful program, I am especially proud that we've touched the lives of so many students by giving them a chance to meet these American heroes."
This year, there are 15 events for Take a Veteran to School Day across the state through Nov. 15. Participating in this year's program are the following high schools: Brooke, Buckhannon-Upshur, East Fairmont, Lincoln County, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Musselman, Nicholas County, Robert C. Byrd, South Charleston, Weir, Wheeling Park, Williamstown, and Wyoming East.
In addition, a similar event will be held at the Boys & Girls Club in Huntington for the second year to expand the program beyond the high schools. Inspired by the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, high school students and students from West Virginia University's School of Journalism, Concord University and Glenville State College will interview West Virginia veterans and record their oral histories.
"We are very pleased and honored that Senator Rockefeller has joined with WVCTA for the past five years in honoring our state's veterans and ensuring that future generations learn of their service and sacrifices. The thousands of high school students that have participated in the "Take a Veteran to School" program since 2008 have benefited immeasurably from the senator's leadership and his heartfelt commitment to veterans all over the nation," said Mark Polen, Executive Director of the West Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association.
The Take a Veteran to School Day program is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the West Virginia Department of Education, as well as the West Virginia Legislature that passed resolutions. in 2009 encouraging West Virginia educators to participate in future Take a Veteran to School Day initiatives.
The program's return to West Virginia schools is made possible by the West Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association and its member companies, Suddenlink Communications, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Shentel and Armstrong, and the HISTORY channel who created the national initiative.