COLLIERVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Public Education Foundation's signature event – its annual "National Anthem 'Sing-A-Long'" – unites K-12 students in patriotism, pride and song to honor the resilience of America and it citizens over time, whether 9/11 or the War of 1812. In 2016 – the 15th anniversary of 9/11 – the 'Sing-A-Long' will be held on Friday, Sept. 9 at 10 am PST/1 pm EST at public and school sites across the U.S.
"America's K-12 youth are the future of our great nation," said Foundation president David A. Pickler, J.D. "Through high-quality service learning initiatives such as the synchronized 'Sing-A-Long," we empower our nation's students to become engaged, informed and patriotic citizens." On Sept. 8, at 10:15 a.m. – as part of an advance tribute before the Sept. 9 'Sing-A-Long' – Pickler will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of America's fallen service men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom.
Foundation National Director Mia Toschi founded this growing national movement. Starting with just 10 schools three years ago, in 2016 the movement aims to engage 1 million + students nationwide. "Americans rallied in the wake of 9-11," said Toschi. "The 'Sing-A-Long' is an enduring tribute and act of national unity focused on inspiring youth across America." Watch the youth-led Teen Kids News (TKN) video here: https://goo.gl/80xCL5, (TKN is the #1 rated Emmy award-winning television news show for kids.)
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), a principal architect of the recent reauthorization of federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, is an Honorary Champion. "The Star-Spangled Banner is an important part of our history that unites all Americans," Alexander said. "It declares to all who hear it the U.S. is the 'land of the free and the home of the brave,' and it has remained a symbolic remembrance of those who have made this country great." Governor Bill Haslam (R-TN) shared a formal proclamation.
A featured special guest, FOX News anchor Harris Faulkner, a former National Anthem singer, will sing the National Anthem live in New York at P.S. 174 William Sidney Mount on Fri., Sept. 9 at 1 pm EST. This diverse public school, a 'year 2' 'Sing-A-Long' participant, reflects America's heartland. Located in Queens (District 28), P.S. 174, sited in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, serves PreK-5 students from 17 language groups. "Remembering growing up on U.S. Army bases stateside and abroad, the Star-Spangled Banner was played at important occasions...and often," said Faulkner. "It was the first song I learned the lyrics to. My dad was a fighter pilot with the 210th Combat Aviation in Vietnam. The welcome home celebrations on base were showered with patriotism and moving music. To this day, he tears up when he hears it. I look forward to being part of a wonderful program to teach children the meaning of our National Anthem. And I cannot wait to sing with young students across America. My own daughters, Bella (9) and Danika (7) are practicing with me this summer!"
A robust companion curriculum developed by the Foundation, downloadable at no cost at www.theapef.org (see the "Educate" tab), teaches students the words, meaning, music and history of Francis Scott Key's National Anthem in advance of the Sept. 9 event.
A first-year event sponsor is 4x Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. (Watch a vibrant testimonial from NY Giants participant Stephen Baker, "The Touchdown Maker," at https://goo.gl/z3W70C.) Education Networks of America, a leading provider of Internet services to public schools and libraries, and America's neighborhood general store, Dollar General, are also primary event sponsors. The Foundation also is a partner of 9/11 Day, a national day of service, remembrance and unity that in 2016 honors the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Public 'Sing-A-Long' sites confirmed to date include: John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (MA); National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (OH); Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center (NJ); Fort McHenry (MD); and others. Schools and students may host a Sept. 9 event at their school site or join a public site, with advance sign up required – full details and materials (e.g., sample press release, sample event program) are available online at www.theapef.org Eager to share the 'Sing-A-Long' with your network? Use the event hashtag, #OhSayCanYouSing
About the Foundation: The American Public Education Foundation (APEF) complements in-class teaching and learning with service learning projects that promote civic engagement, character development and global citizenship among K-12 public school students. Business leaders, educators, parents – join us to help educate, inspire and lead America's public school students. Learn more at www.theapef.org
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SOURCE American Public Education Foundation