Last year, his was the only class at Oak Street School to participate in the project; however, this year, all three fifth-grade classes joined in.
INSPIRED BY VIDEOS
Before writing the letters, students in Eaglefeather and Nisoff’s classes watched videos about veterans, including one with a slideshow of photos and paintings depicting soldiers from several of the wars America has fought in.
Nisoff said the videos not only helped students generate ideas for their cards and letters but also seemed to tug at their heartstrings.
“We had a lot of tears shed,” he said.
Mackenzie Rascoe was one of several children moved by the slideshow.
“It kind of made me, like, emotional,” she said.
And Kiera noted that watching the videos gave her a new appreciation for her own life.
“I cried because it made me realize, like, how much I have and that I should cherish it,” she said.
As for the cards and letters, students said they hoped they would have a positive impact on the recipients.
“We did this to make the veterans be happy and to have, like, a good day, so they’re not all sad,” said Alexander Tuller.
In addition, Louisa Mercier, a student in McCarty’s class, said she hoped her message would remind a veteran that he or she still matters.
“I would like them to feel important, like they’re still needed,” she said.
It’s important to show respect for veterans, according to Phoebe Duprey, because “they work so hard for freedom.”
The Canandaigua VA Medical Center was chosen as the destination for the children’s messages due to a personal connection the school has with a member of the hospital’s staff.
Dr. Danielle Waldron, a doctor of physical therapy in the Medical Center’s Inpatient Physical Therapy Department, is the daughter of Bonnie Waldron, the principal’s secretary at Oak Street Elementary.