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posted: Fri, Sep 23rd, 2016
Music teacher Lisa King and principal Kevin Moore stand in front of the school's flagpole

Star spangled sing-a-long 

CMS students and staff members recently added their 800+ voices to the quarter of a million simultaneously singing "The Star Spangled Banner." The sing-a-long took place at schools, museums, military installations, and other public spaces across the country. Sponsored by the American Public Education Foundation, the event carries the goal of inspiring everyone to learn the words, history, and meaning of our national anthem.

"The song has such power and an incredible ability to bring people together," said Lisa King, CMS' music teacher who coordinated the sing-a-long. "It's a tribute to American resilience and immortalizes the patriotic spirit that many hold deeply in their hearts."

Mrs. King discussed the history of the anthem both in class and over the P.A. system before leading the school in song. The lyrics were famously written by Francis Scott Key, an attorney and amateur poet who witnessed the British attack on Fort McHenry, Maryland during the War of 1812, who had a popular song in mind when penning the words.

"The Star Spangled Banner" officially became the country's national anthem in 1931; the flag that Key saw hoisted over Fort McHenry by "the dawn's early light" after the battle is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

As a culminating project, Mrs. King had her fourth and fifth grade students pen their own verses to the anthem. 

(Interesting tidbits: The original lyrics written by Key actually has four stanzas, however just one is used in the anthem. F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose real name is Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, is a distant relative.)

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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4002 Fax: 973.691.4030

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