Students gather at flagpoles to pray (video)
Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 25, 2013 at 4:25 a.m.
Little Joe Newman uttered a soft prayer - somewhat muffled - into a weighty, charcoal microphone near the playground of his school.
Any 7-year-old might have been nervous to lead the entire student body in prayer, but Joe said his nerves subsided once he closed his eyes. He said God gave him a quiet peace as he offered a supplication to the Lord on Wednesday's See You at the Pole day at Northside Baptist School.
"I said to God to make the poor have more money and give them food and for the bad people to turn into good people," said Joe, a second-grader at the school. "I prayed for everyone to have a good day - and that's all."
Joe was a single voice among many at Northside Baptist, who participated in the national flagpole-side prayer event.
Students, teachers and parents gathered by the school's new flagpoles, flying the American and Christian flags high above the students.
Jayden Opom, 9, and Sarah Kate Jentsch, 8, also took part in the prayer service, which schools - both public and private - participated in Wednesday morning before the ring of first-period bell.
Jayden and Sarah Kate performed the pledges to the flags, and performed a rendition of "You're a Grand Old Flag."
"It feels really good to honor the flag and celebrate the flag," Jayden said. "And I like it when we pray. We're praying about God, and we need to spread the word about him."
Sarah Kate also enjoyed her role in the service and was pleased that the school was able to buy real flag poles for See You at the Pole.
"This is the first year we had them," she said. "It makes us a real school now."
Northside's principal, Jan Chilcoat, said the prayer event is important to remind children to keep God in school.
"We try to teach them that we're one nation under God and that there's no comma between nation and God. It's all together - one nation under God," Chilcoat said.