Category Archives: star-spangled banner

The Star-Spangled Banner

I had an unexpected opportunity to learn something new last Monday.  I watched over 50 children sit in rapt attention as Quin Denning, Principal of Providence Academy, explained the origins of the United States national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.  Mr. Denning explained in-depth why Francis Scott Key was on the British warship when Fort McHenry was attacked.  How during the onslaught the flag became tattered but never faltered.  And what Key and other patriots found when they entered the fort.  It was a moving moment for me on two fronts:  although I thought I was well-versed on America’s history, Mr. Denning taught me something I didn’t know . . .

. . . and I saw joy on the faces of children learning.
Providence Academy is an all-inclusive, Kindergarten through 12th Grade, private school that does not accept a single dollar of taxpayer money.  This allows them to open each school day with a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a devotional thought.  When the children break they are smiling and excited for class.  They are open to learn.
I overheard one of the parents comment, “[He’s] never been excited to go to school.  Now he wakes up saying, ‘Yea!  I get to go to school.’”
It didn’t take long for me to figure out why kids feel this way about Providence Academy.  From Quin Denning, to the teachers, and the administrative staff, they are all excited to be there.  Instead of memorization the children are taught to learn.  They are allowed to fail – and learn from the experience. 
Instead of a movie and a spiked thermos of coffee (you know I’m talking about you, Mrs. Carter), the teachers at Providence Academy are truly preparing kids to be successful beyond school walls.  Local business people are invited in to lecture and provide real-world insights into what the children are learning.
So, as I stood with kids from five to seventeen, hand over my heart, singing The Star-Spangled Banner, I thought, “There is hope for this generation.”
To find more information about Providence Academy, or to make a donation, go to
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