Alumni Bring Focus to 5th Graders’ Study of WWII
May 3, 2012
For Fifth Graders studying the events of World War II, that period in history was recently brought into sharper focus by their time spent with Manlius School alumnus Don Fida ’42HQ.
Mr. Fida, a recipient of the Purple Heart, visited Fifth Grade to share his personal World War II experiences serving with the military in the Pacific. As students examined the artifacts, maps, and photographs he brought, Mr. Fida talked movingly about the three years that he spent fighting in Attu, the Marshall Islands, and Okinawa. Fifth Grade teacher Amy Abdo said his account was “heartfelt, honest, and a deeply engaging historical lesson.”
Another Manlius School graduate, John Ellis ’67HQ, provided still more interesting information, talking with students about the numerous inventions that sprang from World War II. Fifth Graders learned that everything from Silly Putty, Spam, and Necco Wafers to paperback books, Jeeps, and microwave ovens had their origins in what was learned, observed, and created during the war. Even our system of interstate highways, Mr. Ellis said, developed from the experiences of World War II.
The stories and anecdotes told by the two Manlius School alumni “truly brought this unit to life for the Fifth Grade students,” Ms. Abdo said. “We’re all so appreciative of their time.”