TREMONT, Ill. (WMBD) — Elementary fourth-graders learned an important lesson on giving a second life to material and living things from a local veteran group.

These students and veterans are this week’s CI Heroes.

Seamstresses sit at sewing machines inside Tremont Grade School. They’re adding the finishing touches on homemade dog beds assembled by local students.

“We’ll have probably in the neighborhood of 50 beds to donate,” said the Director of Tremont Grade School Fist Bumping Vets, Rick Otey.

After a ceremony, students learned from a local group of veterans about how to properly retire a flag.

Inside those dog beds are pieces of retired American and military flags. A local veteran group taught the fourth-grade class how to properly retire the flags.

“Just like sewing a flag together…it’s not a flag until it’s all sewn together,” said Otey. “So once we cut it apart, it’s no longer a flag. So we’re not stuffing a flag in a pillowcase. We’re stuffing fabric that used to be a flag in a pillowcase.”

One student said it’s important to learn how to repurpose items to bring new life to them.

“It’s very very important,” said fourth-grader Gavin Switzer. “It gives the dogs something to lay on, sleep on, gives them something to play with. It’s very very nice to do that. So, we do it for our community.”

The beds heading to TAPS No-Kill Animal Shelter for dogs still waiting on their forever homes.

“We rely completely on donations and support from our public. Anytime someone chooses to do something kind, it’s awesome. When they choose to do something kind, and it benefits our shelter, it just means so much more to us. So, this is such a nice gesture and we’re so happy to accept these donations.”

Liam Donahue, Foster Coordinator for TAPS

The stars from the flag are now in the hands of local veterans thanking them for their service.