Over the past three months, students at Palm Beach Central High School have been painting houses, learning about programs that train dogs for disabled veterans and forming a partnership with Habitat for Humanity — all because of a book. As part of a One School, One Book program, students read John Grisham’s A Painted House for their summer reading assignment, and the school has used the storyline as a springboard for community service activities and academic work since school began in August.
On Thursday, Nov. 13, the school will hold an assembly that combines Veterans Day with its One School, One Book program. The assembly will take place in the gym, beginning at noon.
The novel takes place during the Korean War, and the main characters in the book are focused on news from the war while they await the return of their son, brother and uncle, Ricky.
Palm Beach Central will honor those who have served in the Nov. 13 assembly with the Presentation of Colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and an a cappella performance of The Star-Spangled Banner by the school’s Traditions choir under the direction of Scott Houchins. Principal Darren Edgecomb will be honoring audience members who have served in the Armed Forces as part of the ceremony.
In recognition of some of the community service activities that students have participated in this year, Debbie Majors, executive director of Dogs 4 Disabled Veterans, will be on hand with some of the organization’s dogs to show the students examples of the training that the dogs receive prior to being placed with a veteran who needs assistance with daily living. Bernard Godek, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, will also talk about some upcoming community service opportunities that are available for students through that organization.
In A Painted House, young Luke Chandler dreams of becoming a baseball player someday, so faculty veterans and members of the armed forces will take on a group of students in an indoor wiffleball game as the culminating event of the assembly. Pep band members, under the direction of James Yaques, will entertain the crowd between innings with patriotic music.