There are many special ways to recognize our soldiers this Veterans Day.
community service, veterans, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, soldiers
Veterans Day or Memorial Day -- or any day -- are good days for remembering the soldiers who serve our country in wartime and peace. Following are some special ways in which you might recognize our soldiers at any time of year.
Letters from Home
Some of our soldiers don't get much mail from home. They don't often hear how much we appreciate all they do for our country, even though there are many easy ways in which we can let them know. Following are some resources you and your students can use to communicate with soldiers.
Let's Say Thanks
This Web site gives you an opportunity to send a free printed postcard to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas. Show your support and appreciation to our troops in three easy steps.
A Million Thanks
Students of Lutheran High School in Orange, California, started this project. Their goal is to send a million letters or postcards to our troops -- and they've almost achieved that goal. You can help them achieve that goal in time for Veterans Day! Click the link above to learn how. Click here to learn more about the project or to see the progress thermometer as the students strive to reach the 1,000,000 mark.
Letters From Home Program: Suggestions of What to Write
So you want your students to write letters to local soldiers serving overseas, but you think your students will be unsure what to write. Click the link above for some ideas. This page is part of the Letters from Home Web site. If you do not know how to begin your letter-writing project, see this site's home page. It even includes some ideas for incorporating Flat Stanley into your soldier letter-writing project.
We take for granted all the comforts that we enjoy each day. Many of our soldiers long for some of those things we take for granted. All soldiers appreciate care packages and there are many volunteers who work unselfishly to see that our soldiers get the things they want and need. If you would like to organize an effort to gather materials for soldier care packages, you might contact your local military base or National Guard barracks. Or perhaps you will find a local organization with which you can work on this Send Care Packages list.
What kinds of things do soldiers need and want? The lists below will give you some ideas:
Four More Ideas
1. Collect paperbacks.
Some organizations are actively collecting paperback books to send to our soldiers. Perhaps one of your local organizations that supports service personnel would like to work with you to spur such a collection throughout your school or community. If this sounds like a worthwhile project in support of your own school's literacy initiative you might take a look at what Operation Paperback has done. If this organization does not serve your location, there are useful resources here, especially the How to Help page, which includes information about the kinds of books that soldiers want. It also includes information about the kinds of books, or book-cover images, that might be deemed offensive in some Muslim countries where soldiers serve.
2. Hold an essay contest.
Provide students with a patriotic theme and hold an essay contest. Contact a local veterans' organization to arrange to have local veterans judge your students' essays. Winning essayists might read their essays at a school assembly, a local parade, or in another public way.
3. Veterans Q&A.
Invite local veterans into your classroom to talk with students and to answer their questions about their service to our country. After the classroom session, arrange a more informal gathering where students and veterans can mingle and enjoy refreshments.
4. Veteran interviews.
Instead of having a veteran stand in front of the class, arrange students into small groups so that each group will get to know a different veteran. Students might interview their vet about her/his service, take a group photo, and create a classroom display.
What did students do to connect with military personnel or veterans? You might have them write in their journals about what they learned from the experiences you provided.
GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the American Political System
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-C.9-12.2 Foundations of the Political System
NSS-C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.9-12.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen
GRADES K - 12
NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
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