AYNOR (WBTW) – Debbie Alford tries to make history come alive for her seventh grade students at Aynor Middle School. On Wednesday, the class finished up flip books it made to illustrate different totalitarian governments throughout history.
“I really like to teach about veterans and the things that have contributed to making our country as great as it is today,” said Alford. “I really like them to understand the workings of democracy and the workings of veterans and what they've contributed.”
That's one reason Alford rewards her highest-performing students each year by taking them on a weekend trip to Washington, D.C. She's taken the trip for 18 years. Several years ago, she said she noticed different groups would lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery, and she found out her students could do the same. She's coordinated with the Department of Army, and two of her students will lay a wreath this year.
Luke Altman and Grace Van Voorhis each submitted winning essays in the contest to see which students at Aynor would get the honor.
“My mom and dad were both in the military,” said Van Voorhis. “They met there and a lot of my family was in the military.”
“I think it's a great honor,” said Altman. “I know a bunch of my ancestors fought in wars, and it's just such a great honor to lay a wreath where people have died for our country.”
Both students will make their first trip to Washington when the bus rolls out March 7th, and both say they're excited to see so many historic places they've only read about.
“I like to learn about what happened in the past, and what you can learn from the past,” said Altman.
“If we don't learn history, then we can make mistakes,” said Van Voorhis.