Modeled after Veterans Week activities in the Cherry Creek School District of Greenwood Village, Colorado, the Saluting America program launched during the 2013-2014 school year. Eight school districts, involving nearly 190,000 students completed Tribute Cards that were distributed worldwide to veterans and those actively serving.
Saluting America instills a strong sense of active citizenship and patriotism in America’s K-12 students, raises awareness of our nation’s cherished values, and honors those who serve our country. Many of today’s youth are not aware of the bravery and sacrifices made to protect our freedoms, mostly because they have little or no interaction with the military. In a time when there is growing mistrust of our nation's law enforcement officers, we work to rebuild those relationships.
Participation in the program has expanded to 50 Colorado school districts plus the Denver-based Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (5 districts involved) and over a dozen private and parochial schools.
As a result of this dedicated participation, over half a million Tribute Cards have been distributed to veterans and active military over the past four years.
To build awareness and respect for those who serve our country, Saluting America offers schools free materials and classroom activities designed to honor all who serve. The activities emotionally engage and educate students about patriotism, valor, citizenship, freedom, civic engagement, sacrifice, and history. Saluting America helps students learn the following values:
Character Development – Saluting America exposes students to the positive role models of veterans, actively serving military personnel, law enforcement and First Responders directly (class visits, assemblies, etc.) and indirectly (classroom discussions). These interactions and discussions convey messages that promote truth, integrity, sacrifice and service.
Civics Education – Saluting America classroom discussions prior to creating messages for Tribute Cards and/or participating in the Tribute Contest generally involve the rights and duties of citizenship.
Patriotism – Students are introduced to the concepts of patriotism, citizenship, service and sacrifice through classroom discussions connected with the program elements - writing a personal message in the Tribute Card, preparing an entry for the Tribute Contest, and reviewing the concepts behind the words found in The American's Creed. The program can be conducted in conjunction with special days relating to our nation and military service (Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Constitution Day, Patriots Day and others.)