- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) - Schools in Watertown are working to preserve student-made banners that were signed by President Barack Obama during his visit last month.

Each school decided to make posters to welcome Obama to the northeastern South Dakota city, the Watertown Public Opinion (http://bit.ly/1N91mQa ) reported. Lincoln Elementary Principal Susan Patrick said they hoped he would see them, but didn’t think he’d take the time to sign each one.

Obama spent a few moments looking at the banners and signed each with a simple message: “Thanks for the welcome. Dream big dreams! Barack Obama.”

“We are all just completely overwhelmed and excited that he did this, so naturally the next step was figuring out a way to preserve the banners,” Patrick said.

The banners are being prepped for framing and preservation, and by the time students return in the fall, each school will have its banner on display.

“There’s also consideration going into safety,” Patrick said. “Most larger frames are plastic or Plexiglass and not actual sheets of glass because, if one of these fell off the wall and shattered, it could be dangerous. We also have to put consideration into fade resistance, since we want the posters to hold up for a long time.”

Patrick said since most of the kids who worked on the banner projects were kindergarteners and the significance of Obama’s signature is “kind of lost on them.”

“At that age, they think their teacher is a queen, so they can’t really comprehend what a huge deal it is that the President of the United States signed their poster,” Patrick said. “As they get older, though, they will begin to realize what it was all about and it will mean more, and the posters will be there to help them remember the day it all happened.”

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Information from: Watertown Public Opinion, http://www.thepublicopinion.com

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