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David Scribner
Amy Salinetti's Muddy Brook Elementary kindergarten class watches as state Rep. William Smitty Pignatelli attaches the Massachusetts flag to the flagpole at the school entrance, while custodian Ed Shaw raises a new American flag.

Making a difference: New flags for Muddy Brook Elementary

By Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 Learning 1

Great Barrington — When State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) visited their Muddy Brook Elementary School classroom last month to explain the virtues of citizenship and to urge them to improve their community, the 17 students in Amy Salinetti’s kindergarten class took note.

As a class, they did an inpection tour of their school grounds to see what improvements were needed, and at the front entrance they noticed that the American flag that waved proudly from the flagpole in front of the school was a bit tattered, having endured a number of years of Berkshire weather.

Back in their classroom the kindergartners wrote a class letter to Pignatelli, asking the legislator whether he could help replace what their letter called “the important symbol of our country.”

“He told us to try to solve problems and to make our community better,” observed Salinetti, “so we walked around the school. We thought he could be a help with the flag, and then he wrote back – to our surprise.”

State Rep. Pignatelli presenting a new American flag to the kindergarten class. Photo: David Scribner

State Rep. Pignatelli presenting a new American flag to the kindergarten class. Photo: David Scribner

Pignatelli received the their letter – as well as individual notes from students – on Thursday (April 7), and on Monday (April 11) he visited the classroom again, this time bringing with him a new American flag as well as a new Massachusetts State flag.

“This is all about making a difference,” he told the class. “It’s all part of being a community.”

Kindergarten class letter to Rep. Pignatelli.

Kindergarten class letter to Rep. Pignatelli.

And with that the children donned their jackets, for the weather was a chilly, and filed upstairs and out the entrance to the flagpole.

After saying the Pledge of Allegiance, Pignatelli, with the help of custodian Ed Shaw, took down the old flags, carefully folding them so they did not touch the ground. The new flags were snapped in place, and raised, where they stretched out and stepped lively in the brisk breeze – as students clapped.

With the assistance of Amy Salinetti, her kindergarten class folds old flag that has been removed from the school's flag pole.

With the assistance of Amy Salinetti, her kindergarten class folds old flag that has been removed from the school’s flag pole.


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