The Poppy Project
The Poppy Project is the service learning, veterans awareness project of East Elementary. The project takes its name from the red corn poppy: the international symbol for veterans. During the ten-plus years of this project, more than 20,000 JPS students have learned the historical significance and importance of service from the men and women of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines & Navy.
The Poppy Project began when one East Elementary teacher, music teacher Sharon Felty, attended a WWII battleship reunion with her father in the spring of 2001. Her father’s shipmate, who survived the bombing of a kamikaze on the USS Ommaney Bay Aircraft Carrier in 1945, admonished her, “Teach your students about this great country and instill patriotism.” She determined to fulfill that navy veteran’s wish, and in the spring of 2001, just two months prior to the events of 9/11, The Poppy Project began at East Elementary.
To this day, The Poppy Project remains a vital component of East Elementary. "We are committed to continue providing this quality experience of lasting value for East Elementary students," Felty said. "There is no greater way to teach positive character habits of respect, perseverance and honesty than through the modeling of an honored veteran who has helped preserve our freedom."
Thousands of veterans have received honor and tribute at The Poppy Project concerts or were warmed by the thoughtfulness behind Freedom Boxes and hand-made Valentines from East Elementary students. The Poppy Project has creatively connected thousands of East Elementary, JHS Vocal Music, Drama, and ROTC students with veterans since its inception.
Each year's activities include:
-“Home of the Brave” Veterans Day Concert: Jenks East Elementary Fourth Grade, JHS Vocal Music, Drama & ROTC students will honor all veterans in attendance.
-Visiting Vets: East Elementary students view restored vintage military vehicles and memorabilia, courtesy of Tulsa Military Vehicle Group and Keith Myer Military Exhibits.
-Freedom Box Campaign: East Elementary partners with Blue Star Mothers of Broken Arrow to collect holiday gift box items for our troops. Items may be donated at East Elementary, all buildings, or at the Home of the Brave Concert.
-Poppy Field: East Elementary students and JHS FHA plant a poppy field in the flagpole commons area. The field should be in full bloom around May 15.
Everyone is invited to attend The Poppy Project activities and join the Jenks students and staff in honoring veterans.