O'Plaine School in Gurnee plans to honor 43 fifth-graders as the newest "Great Americans" at a special event Thursday morning in the gymnasium.
The program, founded by fifth-grade teacher Kathy Jansen, has become a tradition at the building behind Gurnee village hall. Students who earn Great American status learn and recite all of the following: the Pledge of Allegiance, the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, Gettysburg Address, all the presidents in order, states and capitals, flag facts, flag fold and the "Star Spangled Banner."
The fifth-grade curriculum focuses on American history, and the challenge is presented to all of the pupils to extend their knowledge of U.S. historic documents and traditions.
Gurnee American Legion members are expected to be at program to demonstrate and narrate the official U.S. flag fold. O'Plaine School is part of Gurnee Elementary District 56. Children in grades three through five attend O'Plaine.