After a group of students at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School participated in a “Kindness Challenge”-themed essay writing contest, one student’s essay inspired members from three of the school’s classes to create about 200 handmade valentines to show their appreciation to military service men and women who the students felt were often underappreciated.
David Burns, a student in Kelly Dillon’s class, decided to focus his essay on members of the military, giving “passionate” and “persuasive” arguments citing how military members are underappreciated — hoping he himself could honor them I some way. His father is a service member.
David agreed to read a portion of his essay for a short video that was posted on the district’s website — and after hearing the essay, two other classes and his own classmates decided to make valentines for military personnel in an effort to thank them for their service.
The video was viewed by local members of the 106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard in Westhampton Beach, who, touched by his essay, asked to visit the class and share stories about their time in the service — and thank David for his message.
Airman Brian Dillon — Ms. Dillon’s brother — and Airman Joshua Burns —David’s dad — visited the class and were presented with the valentines, which they will distribute to members of the 106th Rescue Wing.