Head Start children celebrate Flag Day

Flag Day was celebrated at the Anoka County Head Start Center in Coon Rapids June 14.

Children attending the Anoka County Head Start Center in Coon Rapids parade around the building Friday to kick off the annual Flag Day event June 14.

Children attending the Anoka County Head Start Center in Coon Rapids parade around the building Friday to kick off the annual Flag Day event June 14.

The annual event at the center included a parade by the children, all of them carrying U.S. flags, around the school before the Coon Rapids VFW Honor Guard raised the flag on the flag- pole outside the center.

Marv Roepke, past Coon Rapids VFW commander, told the children about how the colors on the flag and the flag’s arrangement were decided by the 1777 Second Continental Congress.

According to Jessica Lafine, family and community partnerships coordinator for Head Start, the children made all the decorations for the parade themselves.

The children learned all about the flag in their classes, its significance and the importance of respecting the flag, Lafine said.

There were some 115 children, ages three to five, who took part in the parade, she said.

They included children attending not only the Head Start center but also those who are in the home-based program but who were at the center that day, Lafine said.

Members of the Coon Rapids VFW Honor Guard were Roepke, bugler Vern Shereck, Jerry Heltzer, Bob Gullickson, Bill Poirier, Dick Soukup, Jim Hunt and Lynette Pavin.

The Coon Rapids VFW Honor Guard that took part in the Flag Day program at the Anoka County Head Start Center Friday included, front to back, Bob Gullickson, Dick Soukup, Jim Hunt, Lynette Pavin, Bill Poirier, Jerry Heltzer, Marv Roepke and Vern Shereck.

The Coon Rapids VFW Honor Guard that took part in the Flag Day program at the Anoka County Head Start Center Friday included, front to back, Bob Gullickson, Dick Soukup, Jim Hunt, Lynette Pavin, Bill Poirier, Jerry Heltzer, Marv Roepke and Vern Shereck.

The Anoka/Washington County Head Start program is operated by the Anoka County Community Action Program.

According to the community action program website, Head Start is a free program for families on the Minnesota Family Investment Program, the state’s welfare reform program for low-income families with children, or the Supplemental Security Income  program, which pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources, and foster children are eligible even though they may be over the federal income guidelines for eligibility.

Besides the Coon Rapids facility, there are Head Start centers in Anoka County in Cedar and Columbia Heights.

Flag Day is celebrated June 14 each year to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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