Thank you letters generate unique gift of appreciation


A simple letter-writing lesson generated an unexpected surprise for a Rising Starr Middle teacher and her class.

Elizabeth McCullough, who teaches eighth grade history, had her students write “thank-you” letters to soldiers, firemen and policeman in remembrance of the events of 9-11. The letters for the soldiers were sent to Colonel Ronald Ross, Chief of Staff ACSE-A, for distribution to servicemen and women serving in Kabul, Afghanistan. Recipients included soldiers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Much to McCullough’s surprise, the Colonel, now home from Kabul, unexpectedly showed up at her classroom door the morning of Veterans Day to present the students with a certificate and a special gift for her, a map of Afghanistan made from various rocks and stones found in the country.

“It was so thoughtful and beautiful,” McCullough said of the map. “It is always so nice for teachers to just get a verbal thank you for our work, but this was overwhelming.”

McCullough said she had her students write the letters to get them thinking about how and why our forefathers began this country, and how and why we continue to keep this way of life.

“It is good that teens see the sacrifices that are made for our country. It is a good lesson for them to give thanks,” she said.