Teaching students to think about and appreciate the service of others is an important aspect of social learning and citizenship. Students at our Northfield campus took part in Operation Gratitude, a program designed to lift morale of the men and women in the nation’s armed forces serving in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and aboard ship in international waters.
Y.A.L.E. students planned, packed, and shipped care packages addressed to individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, and Marines, to the soldiers’ children back home, and to soldiers recuperating in transition units.
Participation in Operation Gratitude gave Y.A.L.E. students a way to express respect and appreciation to the men and women of the U.S. Military in a direct, active way. In addition to learning about the five branches of the military, students have had the opportunity to send letters to wounded service members.
To expand learning and further differentiate instruction, English teachers at the Northfield campus asked students to write letters to 9/11 responders, including police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs. Through this exercise, students learned about and discussed the role of public servants and volunteers who provided medical care, food, water, supplies, assisted with searching for survivors, and cleaned up in the aftermath of the attacks.
Taken together, these lessons and activities have helped expand our students’ understanding of their place in the community and the service and sacrifice given by others.