By putting pen to paper with a thankful heart, Pembroke Academy scholars displayed the school’s monthly Moral Focus virtue, gratitude, by partnering with Operation Gratitude to write and send letters to our country’s heroes and express thanks for their selfless service.
Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization that aims to “forge strong bonds between Americans and their military and first responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide.” Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has delivered 8 million handwritten letters.
Each grade level focused on a different line of servicemen and women. Kindergarten and first-grade students wrote to new recruits, who have recently completed Boot Camp and have sworn to serve for the next four or more years. Second- and sixth-grade students crafted letters to deployed troops, while third graders wrote to veterans. Fourth-grade students wrote to first responders and fifth graders sent their letters to wounded heroes and caregivers.
“This partnership is a perfect fit for Pembroke Academy because it aligns with our passion for building strong moral character in every student at Pembroke Academy,” said Uche Uchendu, English-language arts academic specialist at Pembroke Academy.
Additionally, these letters gave teachers the opportunity to teach students how to structure a letter with relevant content, while educating them on the importance of gratitude.
A fifth-grade student reminded his classmates that, "We need to thank people that fight for our country." In agreement, a third-grade student said, "They (soldiers) always help us and protect us." Even the younger students understood the purpose of the letter-writing initiative. A kindergarten student shared that it’s important to write to the soldiers even when they do not know them.
Not only were scholars excited and supportive of this project, but parents too! Nicole Knight, parent of a kindergarten scholar, shared "It is vital to teach children to send appreciation to our troops for everything they have done for us and their bravery.”
“Pembroke Academy scholars are proud to make a difference to our servicemen and women! We look forward to participating in this school-wide initiative again next year and encourage other schools to do the same,” said Uchendu.
In total, 247 letters were sent. Way to go, Pembroke!