Students Honor Veterans with Cards & Visits

Central High School Room B122 celebrated Veteran’s Day, November 11, in a very memorable manner that not only honored our nation’s veterans on their special day, but provided an opportunity for a valuable learning experience as well.

As part of an in-class art project, paraprofessional Carole Brown designed a project wherein they created hand-made Veteran’s Day cards with the intent of distributing the cards to area veterans groups and local businesses hosting Veteran’s Day tributes.

Additionally, Mrs. Brown decided to extend an invitation to the other Central teachers to invite their students to participate in the project. Among the classes choosing to participate in the Veteran’s Day card project was Heather Warren’s reading class.

“I had the kids not only create a card but, as part of the process, research how Veteran’s Day had come about and what it stands for,” Ms. Warren said. “They found out what it takes to become a veteran and what is required to earn the medals that are awarded to them.”

Ms. Warren felt that her class not only learned a lot about the true significance of Veteran’s Day but uncovered some valuable family history in the process. “Some of my students were surprised to find that some of their family members were veterans and had helped to protect our country,” she said. “Often kids don’t pay attention to the significance of these occasions and often are unaware of the sacrifices made by veterans. We will definitely do it again next year.”

In addition to Ms. Warren’s class, students of Lance Pearson and Bobbi Greenway also contributed cards to the Veteran’s Day card project bringing the total number of cards available for distribution to approximately eighty cards.

The cards completed, Mrs. Brown, accompanied by two of her students, Damian Herrington and Maureen Conley, distributed the cards on Wednesday, November 10th. The first stop was made at Cornerstone Mission and the veterans’ wing housed there. After meeting with Mission supervisor, Tony Knodell, the kids distributed cards to about a dozen vets, all of whom seemed very grateful for the unexpected tribute.

Next, Mrs. Brown and her students journeyed to the Golden Corral which each year provides a free meal to veterans on Veteran’s Day. The addition of the unique Central High School cards added a special touch according to Golden Corral kitchen manager, Kris Stevens. “It was a great idea,” Stevens said. “We displayed them in the window where people standing in line could see and read them. The veterans told us that they appreciated the cards very much.”

Kris Stevens received a bit more than cards with which to decorate windows: a couple of smiles courtesy of Maureen and Damian capable of warming the most desolate of hearts. “I was feeling a little down that day,” he said. “When the kids arrived and were so excited to bring us the cards, they made me feel good inside. Seeing their joy and excitement made me feel like I had done something very good that day.”

Lastly, Mrs. Brown, Damian and Maureen visited the Rapid City Veteran’s Center where cards were distributed to veterans on hand and the remainder packaged for delivery to the veteran’s hospitals in Hot Spring and Sturgis. And again, Damian and Maureen added the warmth and glow of their smiles to the occasion.

“I thought it was a great experience for the kids,” Carole Brown said. “I know the veterans we came in contact with were thrilled and honored by what the kids had created. They were special; I know that when I read them, they brought tears to my eyes.”

A special occasion, a special project, and a special thanks to Carole Brown and all of the students who participated in the 2010 Veteran’s Day card project.