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Kind Words and Appreciation: Students Write Letters to Active Service Members and Veterans

The month of November offered many opportunities for students and staff to show their gratitude for others, but scholars at Fortis Academy decided to show their appreciation to people outside their school walls: active service members and veterans.
The observance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, paired well with the idea of writing letters to those who have served the United States as part of the military. Students embraced the opportunity to thank heroes of their country, and share a little about themselves. It’s no wonder Fortis has outperformed the local district for the past 13 years.
 Students with their letters

A student named Mateo wrote “Thank you for protecting Michigan and I appreciate all you do for Michigan, and you are the best.” Classmate Tishe wrote “I am 7 years old and I live in Michigan. Some of my favorite things are going to school, traveling, and going to waterparks. I appreciate everything you do for me.”

Student coloring picture

The letters and pictures will be sent out by Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends out care packages to soldiers and veterans to ensure they know someone cares about them. The organization was founded by Carolyn Blashek who realized the need for soldiers to know they are thought of and cared for by the public.

Student helping other student write letter

The opportunity for school children to write to soldiers they don’t know helps in two ways: showing gratitude to service members and reminding students that others have feelings and needs too.
Great work expressing gratitude, Fortis!

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About Fortis Academy
Fortis Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Ypsilanti, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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