Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thank a Service Member: Operation Gratitude

The leadership students at our school do such a wonderful job of creating a Veteran's Day assembly that everyone steps out of the gymnasium feeling moved and appreciative for the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform are making.  Even though I have seen this assembly going on twelve times at this point, I still leave feeling inspired.  I was a bit discouraged to think that the students would witness this awesome assembly and then just take a three-day weekend and perhaps not have an opportunity to act on the gratitude they were feeling.  

In response to this, I created an assignment requiring the students to write a letter of appreciation to someone serving in the military or a veteran.  
The students have two options: 
1 - write a letter to someone they know personally who is serving or has served (I allow this because I know that for some of them this will be much more meaningful)
2 - write a letter in accordance with the Operation Gratitude guidelines to be included in a care package for someone who is currently serving.

Here is a link to Operation Gratitude's Guidelines for letter writing: http://www.operationgratitude.com/get-involved/write-letters/

I collect all of my students' letters, write a couple myself,  have my little ones draw pictures for them and mail them all off.

Every once in a while a student will get a letter or email back and they are always VERY excited.  I love any opportunity to show my students that their work can be meaningful in more ways than just a grade and this assignment is a perfect opportunity to show them the power that their words can have.  

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